Colton Orr’s condition has improved enough that he is expected to play tonight against the Devils, meaning Petr Prucha will be a scratch for the eighth straight game (Prucha will take part in warm-ups as a precaution).
That leaves Corey Potter filling in for Michal Rozsival, who is out for family reasons, as the lone lineup change. It will be just Potter’s second NHL game — he made his debut in a loss to Calgary earlier this month — although he has become familiar enough with the Rangers based on his making the trip out West with the team last week.
That trip had Potter in the press box for all three games, and with the Christmas break that followed, he didn’t get a chance to play an actual game until last night with the Wolf Pack in Bridgeport.
“It took about half a period to get into the flow,” said Potter, who added that he got the call from the Rangers about tonight at 9 this morning. “But after that, I felt like I was back in the flow.”
How much of a flow can Potter expect to get into with the Rangers? It doesn’t sound like Rozsival is expected to be out longer than one game, so chances are Potter will be headed back to Hartford after tonight (Do we need to rename the “Greg Moore Highway”?).
But he can still hope that if he plays well enough tonight, he forces the Rangers to keep him around. Strangely enough, Potter’s best hope for staying would be if Dmitri Kalinin continues to falter, which is somewhat complicated when you consider he’ll be paired with Kalinin tonight.
Scott Clemmensen is in net for the Devils.
Update, 8:15 p.m.: Yikes!
Was it as bad on TV as it looked in person?
The Rangers are still terribly disconnected in their own zone, and most of their defensemen appear skittish with the puck on their stick (Hey Wade Redden, your team is wearing blue tonight!). Throw in two questionable calls on Marc Staal, and this team should feel lucky it’s only down 2-1.
Best case scenario: a chance to regroup in between periods, a kill of the rest of a Devils penalty, and, well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves….
Update, 9:06 p.m.: So much for the best case scenario. So many questions: What has happened to Scott Gomez? Why can’t Marc Staal get off a clean shot on the power play? How did the Rangers ever beat the Devils twice already this year?