Causing a slight bit of concern on the night the Rangers clinched first place in the Eastern Conference were a pair of injuries suffered by two key Blueshirts. However following Thursday's morning skate in Pittsburgh, fears were alleviated as both Henrik Lundqvist and Mike Rupp declared themselves to be "sore", but "fine".
Lundqvist took a hard shot off an unprotected spot on the bottom of his right arm in the second period Tuesday night and said after the game that he had so much trouble holding his stick that he told backup Martin Biron to be prepared to possibly finish the game against the Flyers. On Thursday Lundqvist said it was still a bit difficult to hold his stick, but that he was feeling better, though loking forward to having the night off tonight.
"It feels OK, I guess, though it's still pretty stiff and sore," Lundqvist reported after his on-ice workout Thursday morning. "If I had to play I'd be out there. It's not a big concern. But it's a good opportunity for me to get in a good practice and get a little rest before getting back at it. It's just soreness, it's not going to get worse. I'll be fine."
Lundqvist said that he had spoken with head coach John Tortorella already about Saturday's season finale against the Capitals, but did not indicate whether or not he'd start that contest.
"I told Torts that I really like how he has planned this out the past couple of weeks, (me) getting a lot of games and a lot of action," explained Lundqvist. "I'm happy with the way things turned out. It's good how it has turned out. It's been well-planned all year."
Rupp called his injury a "stinger" in the neck, suffered when punched directly on the neck during a scrap with Philadelphia's Jody Shelley Tuesday night.
"After an hour or two, it was pretty good, and I am fine now," explained Rupp. ""i have a little sore neck, but that's it."
Rupp will be in the lineup tonight when the Rangers play their final road contest of 2011-12 in Pittsburgh.
"Our goal has always been to be playing the style we have always been laying as we go into the playoffs, so we're not going to let our final two games deter us from that," said Rupp. "Our goal is to go out there and finish the season right."
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