While Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was telling reporters that his team needs to win all three games they have remaining against the Rangers in order to help wipe out a ten point deficit in the standings, the Blueshirts were busy going about their business at the morning skate Tuesday at the CONSOL Energy Center.
One of the biggest pieces of business for the Rangers was determining the playing status of veteran forward Ruslan Fedotenko, who has missed the last five games due to injury. Fedotenko took part in the complete morning skate, saying afterwards that he will discuss his situation with the team trainers and that a decision will be made on whether or not he can play this evening later in the day.
"Every day it's been getting better and better, but we are just taking it day by day to make sure the symptoms are gone," explained Fedotenko, who suffered a blow to the head in a contest against Tampa Bay nearly two weeks ago. "It's frustrating for me not to have a (timeline). It's not like a broken bone where you know it's two weeks and that's it---something where you know exactly how long it's going to take. It is just frustrating because you don't know. One day you feel good, another day you don't feel as good."
Should Fedotenko not be able to return to the lineup, rookie defenseman Stu Bickel likely would remain in the lineup and play forward again.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella praised Bickel following Tuesday's skate.
"He brings toughness and a willingness, and (playing him at forward) gives us some flexibility and depth at both those positions---defense and on the wing," Tortorella said of Bickel. "It's something I want to explore. I want him with us because I want him to continue working with us at both positions."
Veterans Wojtek Wolski and Jeff Woywitka stayed on the ice long after everyone else to work on their conditioning, along with goaltender Martin Biron. Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal vs. the Penguins this evening.
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