Not much to add from Tom Renney’s pregame talk with the media.
As expected, Rangers Report-favorite Petr Prucha is in the lineup. He will replace Colton Orr, as we anticipated after yesterday’s practice when Orr was seen working on D with Jason Strudwick. (He is out in favor of Fedor Tyutin.)
Renney didn’t indicate his line combinations, although there’s no reason to expect many changes. Prucha worked with the fourth line again yesterday and today’s skate was optional, so I’d be surprised if he moved up.
Renney was asked about Prucha’s reaction to his healthy scratch the other night. He called Prucha a “model citizen” but did admit the young forward was upset. And how could he not have been?
Renney also reiterated that he wants his team to win tonight, not to back in the playoffs. I’m sure you all agree. We’ll see what happens soon.
On a side note, there was a release from the league about the different playoff scenarios. Because I am your dutiful blogger, here they are:
*No. 2 New Jersey can clinch the Atlantic tonight if…*it earns at least one point at Philly OR Pittsburgh drops a point at Ottawa.
*No. 4 Ottawa can clinch the fourth seed tonight if…* it beats Pittsburgh.
*No. 6 Tampa Bay (idle) can clinch a playoff berth if…* Toronto drops a point at Islanders OR Montreal drops a point at Rangers.
*No. 7 Rangers can clinch a playoff berth if…* it beats Montreal OR Toronto drops a point at Islanders.
*No. 8 Montreal can clinch a playoff berth if…* it wins at Rangers AND Toronto drops a point at Islanders.
*No. 9 Toronto remains alive for a playoff berth if…* it wins at Islanders OR if it earns one point at Islanders and Montreal drops a point at Rangers OR if it gets zero points at Islanders and Montreal gets zero points at Rangers.
*No. 10 Islanders remains alive for a playoff berth if…* it beats Toronto AND Montreal drops a point at Rangers.
NOTE (and this is from me): If the Rangers get only a point tonight and Toronto wins, the only way Toronto can get in ahead of the Rangers is if it beats Montreal in OT or a shootout on Saturday. If Toronto wins that game in regulation, it would knock Montreal out of the playoff picture.