Richards Moves On From Kaleta Hit
All healthy Rangers took part in Tuesday's morning skate at the First Niagara Center, and injured forward Arron Asham rode the stationary bike instead of taking to the ice. For Asham, who has missed the last nine games with a bad back, it was a first step inching towards a return that is still at an undecided point in the future.
Head coach John Tortorella confirmed that he will use the same lineup as the one which defeated Washington 4-1 on Sunday, meaning that defensemen Roman Hamrlik and Stu Bickel will both be scratched. Henrik Lundqvist, who watched Marty Biron backstop Sunday's win, will start in goal for the Rangers tonight against the Sabres.
Tortorella declined to comment on Patrick Kaleta---the Sabres forward who was suspended five games by the NHL for his hit from behind on Brad Richards at The Garden nine days agao---saying only, "It's none of my business. I just worry about our team."
As for Richards, he told reporters after the skate that he is healthy again and has moved on from the illegal Kaleta hit.
"It's over and done with as far as I'm concerned," said Richards, who has scored goals in both games he has played since returning from injury. "The league took care of what they thought they had to take care of. We're here to win a hockey game."
Kaleta will not play against the Rangers tonight as he is still in the midst of serving his suspension. His coach, Ron Rolston, said his team had to be prepared if the Rangers planned to exact some revenge for the violent hit which injured Richards in that game between these two teams at MSG.
"The Rangers normally play edgy," said Rolston. "Whether or not they come with more than that, we'll just have to be prepared."
To that end, former Ranger John Scott, the massive 6-foot-8, 270 pound enforcer, will dress for the Sabres this evening. However Buffalo will be without starting goaltender Ryan Miller, who is battling a sinus infection, and the team's fourth-leading scorer Tyler Ennis, who is out injured.
24 year-old Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for the Sabres tonight. In four appearances this season he is 0-2-0 with a 3.93 goals against average and .871 save percentage. However in three career starts vs. the Rangers he is 1-1-1 with a shutout two seasons ago at First Niagara Center and a solid 2.31 goals against average.
"Wining five of six sets us on the right path, especially how we have won some of those games," explained Richards. "But I think we could use even more swagger and confidence at times offensively, without abandoning what we do through the rest of the zones. But that all comes with winning and having a good positive vibe, and if we can keep building on this road trip that will all take care of itself."
Do you think the Kaleta hit will play any part in tonight's Rangers-Sabres game? And how big a difference will it be with Ryan Miller missing from the Sabres goal this evening? Share your thoughts below.