…unless you’re Aaron Voros or Dan Fritsche. Both players are again scratches, as expected.
Markus Naslund’s groin is fine.
Beyond that, not a lot of hard news to report. The Rangers are obviously leery of taking the Islanders lightly, which is easy to do against the team with the worst record in the league.
As for an explanation for their better defensive play over the weekend, Tom Renney cited something you might not have considered: shift lengths. The coach said the team has been better at keeping shifts shorts, which enables players to maintain a higher pace.
Rick DiPietro is again out for the Islanders.
The AP’s Ira Podell and I are both about to lose our minds after hearing a Harlem Globetrotters promo for the 87th time in the last hour…
More in a bit…
Update, 7:40 p.m.: And to think, it had actually been a pretty good start for the Rangers. They outshot the Islanders by a 6-1 margin early, but that quickly turned. By the end of the period, they seemed overwhelmed by the opposing forecheck, and were lucky to get out of that period down only 1-0.
Update, 8:40 p.m.: Bring back Mike Dunham! It’s not my place to wish injuries upon anyone. But maybe Yann Danis could just have a blister on his foot, forcing Dunham out of retirement and into the net for the third period. OK, probably not going to happen. But one can dream.
Update, 10:30 p.m.: So this is how the Rangers say they need to play. Not the scrambling, overwhelmed style at the end of the first period. But the patient, prudent style that marked most of the rest of the way. Hey, no yawning allowed.
“Just look at our last couple of years: we don’t score a lot of goals,” said Nigel Dawes, who scored the game-winner on the power play at 14:27 of the second period. “There have times this season when we’ve scored a lot of goals, but those are the games when we’ve also given up a lot of goals. So I think our team is really content in winning 2-1 instead of 5-4 or 6-4.”