Marek Malik makes his return to the lineup for the season finale in place of Paul Mara. Malik will presumably skate alongside Michal Rozsival while Marc Staal goes back to playing with Christian Backman.
“It’s to get him some time,” Tom Renney said of putting Malik back in.. “I may have waited a little too long for that.
Blair Betts also returns a little more than two weeks after having foot surgery, with Ryan Hollweg the likely scratch.
As for the match-up against the Devils, and specifically whether a Rangers sweep would provide the team any psychological advantage heading into the first round against them, Renney wasn’t about to provide his opponent any bulletin board fodder.
“It’s probably the question going through everybody’s mind,” the coach. “I would think not.”
Thanks to Brian Heyman for checking in with these updates and covering the game today while I make the transition to golf. I’ll be watching and checking in as the game goes on.
As for next week, the blog is in good hands now that the Rangers have secured the Devils as an opponent. I’m not sure what the plan will be exactly, but you should expect regular updates, and you can expect to hear from me chiming in from Dixie.
A quick heads-up about the schedule: That will be finalized later today. But bear in mind if the Rangers do lock up home-ice the series would have to start Thursday since the Knicks have a home game Wednesday night.
Unless they can get they just move that game to one of the courts at Chelsea Piers….