Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lineup changes in store for Rangers (Updated 4:30)

Ryan Hollweg has been scratched by Tom Renney tonight. Renney said "he has to do more." Not the best of times to scratch him with the lineup as thin as it is already. Jason Strudwick takes his place on the 4th line and Marek Malik is paired with Paul Mara on defense.

Stephen Valiquette will get his fourth start of the season as Henrik Lundqvist is battling the flu and a sore wrist.

Wayne Gretzky makes his return to Madison Square Garden this evening when the Rangers take on the Coyotes at 5 pm. Gretzky won't be the only returnee, however.

Greg Moore and Nigel Dawes were recalled from Hartford in time for today's game, and will immediately be placed in the lineup. Marcel Hossa is battling the flu, so Dawes takes his spot, and Ryan Callahan was sent down to Hartford on a conditioning assignment, so Moore takes his spot. The defense will probably remain the same, with Marek Malik sitting out his fourth straight game as a healthy scratch.

Henrik Lundqvist battled the flu bug this week as well. He practiced yesterday though and should be ready for the game. Jaromir Jagr sat out of Thursday and Friday's practice with a stiff back, which would explain his lackluster play against the Caps.

The 'Yotes are not a good team, but should not be taken lightly. They have the potential to do well with veterans such as Mike York and Ed Jovanoski, and youngsters Peter Mueller and Martin Hanzal. They are also coming off of a solid win against the Devils last night.

After the Caps game on Wednesday night, the Rangers need to rebound and put some pucks past Ilya Bryzgalov. Hopefully Dawes and Moore can contribute and spark this offense that have been long overdue.

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