Via Twitter from our friends North of the Border:
Both Michael Del Zotto and Arron Asham left the ice early after participating in the non-optional morning skate at Bell Centre, and Marc Staal was not on the ice at all, back at the hotel with the flu, though not ruled out of tonight’s game.
And of course Rick Nash is not on the trip due to his double-super-secret injury. Martin Biron starts in goal.
Christian Thomas was recalled from Connecticut (AHL) last night, but had not arrived in time for the skate.
Here’s the official announcement of the recall, from the NYR:
RANGERS RECALL FORWARD CHRISTIAN THOMAS
NEW YORK, February 23, 2013 –New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has recalled forward Christian Thomas from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Thomas, 20, has tallied four goals and three assists in the last six games with Connecticut, including a career-high, three-point effort on February 9 at St. John’s (one goal, two assists). He has registered 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points, along with 13 penalty minutes in 52 games with the Whale this season. Thomas leads all Connecticut rookies in goals, points, power play goals (three) and shots on goal (104), and is tied for fifth on the team overall in points, ranks fourth in goals and shots, and is tied for third in power play goals. He has posted four multi-point performances, including multi-goal efforts on November 10 at Worcester (two goals) and February 15 against Portland (two goals).
The 5-9, 170-pounder registered one goal and one assist in five games with Connecticut last season. He made his professional debut with Connecticut on April 7, 2012, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and recorded his first professional points with a goal and an assist on April 13, 2012, against Manchester. Thomas also skated in six postseason contests with the Whale during the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Prior to turning professional, Thomas skated in 244 career games over four seasons with the Oshawa Generals and London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), registering 137 goals and 120 assists for 257 points, along with 91 penalty minutes. He established OHL career-highs in games played (66), goals (54), assists (45), points (99), power play goals (19), penalty minutes (38) and plus/minus rating (plus-20) during the 2010-11 season. He and his father, former NHL forward Steve Thomas, became the first father-son duo to record 50+ goals in an OHL campaign. Thomas led the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) in goals over a two-year span, registering 95 goals combined over the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
The Toronto, Ontario native was originally selected as the Rangers’ second round choice, 40th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.