Monday, September 21, 2009

Gaborik to Play Tonight



New York Rangers fans will finally get a glimpse of their new star.
Marian Gaborik who has been held out of preseason games as a precautionary measure will debut for the New York Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden as the Blueshirts will host the Detroit Red Wings. Game time is 7 PM and the game will be televised on MSG.
Gaborik has been kept out of the first four preseason games due to tightness in his groin but has been skating the last few days and feels ready. After this morning's skate Gaborik mentioned he wants to play in the rest of the preseason games in order to get acclimated with his teammates and get ready for the regular season which is less than two weeks away.
Ranger fans are excited to see their new main man but a small nagging feeling sits in the back of their minds. Gaborik's first shift will be watched intently by the Ranger nation as he will skate with Vinny Prospal down the middle and Christopher Higgins on the opposite wing. Here is the full list of lines per Andrew Gross:

Higgins-Prospal-Gaborik
Kotalik-Drury-Lisin
Voros-Anisimov-Callahan
Grachev-Boyle-Parenteau
Semenov-Gilroy
Del Zotto-Girardi
Sanguinetti-Redden

Lundqvist and Valiquette will split the goaltending duties tonight.

Speaking of injuries, Sean Avery limped off the ice this morning after colliding with Ryan Callahan during a practice drill. It is unknown if Avery's injury is serious but he was being examined by one the Ranger doctors. He was supposed to play tonight but Voros as taken his spot. Better to let Avery rest and heal rather than risk worse injury.
Brandon Dubinsky skated this morning for the first time with the team after resolving his contract issues. He will not play tonight but will most certainly be put into the lineup on Thursday when the Rangers play the Washington Capitals. No doubt Ranger fans will be expecting Dubinsky and Gaborik to be paired together at some point to see if the chemistry can be formed to form a potent one-two punch on the top line of the Rangers.
Rangerland is beginning to heat up as we get closer to the season opener next Friday in Pittsburgh. Head Coach John Tortorella is looking to trim the roster down to 21 or 22 by Thursday's preseason game so the next few days should be interesting. Make sure you watch tonight's game with a keen eye as the roster rounds out. Players on the fringe will be playing with more vigor than ever before as they try to solidify a spot on the big club's roster.
If you would like to see the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings, check the HF Rangers board game day thread here.

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