When the Rangers skate against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon they will be without veteran forward Ruslan Fedotenko. Head coach John Tortorella said after practice on Friday that Fedotenko would not be able to play after absorbing a hard hit to the head in the Rangers 4-3 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Tortorella also said that the Rangers would not recall a forward from the club's minor league affiliate in Connecticut, but would instead dress seven defensemen against the Flyers, meaning that rugged Stu Bickel---who racked up two fights and 16 penalty minutes in last Sunday's 5-2 win over Philly---would be back in the lineup.
Fedotenko was hurt Thursday when Tampa Bay's Dominic Moore dropped him with a hit to the head, mere moments after Fedotenko had rocked Moore along the boards with a hard, but legal, body check. Moore received a roughing minor on the play, while Fedotenko layed prone on the ice for several minutes before exiting to the dressing room on wobbly legs.
Friday morning at the MSG Training Center Fedotenko rode the stationary bike, but "didn't feel right" according to Tortorella. That's when the decision was made for Fedotenko to sit out Saturday's matinee in Philadelphia.
Fedotenko has missed only one other game so far this season---January 15th in Montreal, due to back spasms. He has recorded seven goals, seven assists, and 14 points.
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