Only five Rangers---including both goaltenders---took part in Wednesday's optional morning skate at the MSG Training Center as the Blueshirts look ahead to hosting the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden this evening. Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron were joined on the ice by Chris Kreider, Stu Bickel, and Matt Gilroy, along with assistant coaches Mike Sullivan and Benoit Allaire.
Though the actual lineup will not be revealed by head coach John Tortorella until later this afternoon, it likely can be surmised that defenseman Steve Eminger will make his season debut this evening, otherwise he would have taken part in the optional skate. Eminger, who missed significant time with a shoulder injury a year ago, appeared in 42 games with the Rangers in 2011-12, scoring two goals and totaling five points. The saeson before he appeared in 65 games and recorded six points. Eminger and Matt Gilroy both had been healthy scratches the first two games this season for the Blueshirts.
If Eminger does play that would mean rugged Stu Bickel would either be scratched for the first time this season, or replace Arron Asham (mild groing strain) at forward if the veteran can not play against the Bruins.
"Defense definitely comes more natually to me, but I just want to play," Bickel said on Wednesday morning. "Most importantly we've got to turn it around (tonight) and it doesn't matter who it's against."
The Rangers, of course, dropped their season opener to the Bruins last Saturday 3-1, but revenge is not on Lundqvist's mind tonight either. Instead he is more concerned about helping the the club turn its fortunes in the right direction after an 0-2-0 start in which they have been outscored 9-4.
"My motivation now is to get a win and get a good feeling here in this room," Lundqvist stated flatly. "All of my focus and all of our focus is on tonight."
Lundqvist added that "one win can change a lot" and his only concern at present is securing that first win of the season.
"When you don't get wins you always feel a little more tense," explained Lundqvist. "You are definitely more comfortable and relaxed when you are winning, there's no question. At the same time, going from high to low and low to high is part of this game, and it motivates you, too, to work harder. You want to be up there on that high as much as possible."
Lundqvist starts in goal this evening for the Rangers, while Tuukka Rask, who has allowed only two goals in two games, makes his third consecutive start in goal for the Bruins.
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