Both the Rangers and Senators held optional morning skates at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday, and the most noticeable absence on the ice for either team was that of Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. After sitting out Monday's Game 3, Alfredsson apparently will not play in this evening's fourth game after being elbowed in the head by New York's Carl Hagelin on Saturday night.
Senators coach Paul MacLean would only say that there was "no change" in Alfredsson's status, without revealing if the Sens captain could somehow play tonight. MacLean did say that he was "keeping all of our options open" regarding tonight's lineup.
One of those options could include adding rookie forward Mike Hoffman to Ottawa's lineup. Hoffman, a 22 year-old who spent this season with AHL Binghamton, has one game of NHL experience, and MacLean had good things to say about the youngster this morning after Hoffman was added to the roster.
In addition Matt Carkner says he will return to the Sens lineup this evening after serving his one-game suspension for jumping Brian Boyle in Game 2. Should Carkner return, former Ranger Matt Gilroy would be the most likely candidate to be scratched for Ottawa.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella was equally as cagey about his 20 skaters for tonight's match, saying only, "I'm not giving any information on the lineup."
Hagelin does remain out of the Rangers lineup, serving the second game of his three-game NHL suspension. Hagelin once again took part in today's morning skate. It would seem rookie Chris Kreider will again replace Hagelin, though no official announcement has been made about that.
Tortorella emphasized that beginning tonight the Rangers "need to be more consistent in how we play."
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