6:39PM: The lines the Rangers are using in warmups are (Brooks):
- Brendan Lemieux, Mika Zibanejad, Kaapo Kakko
- Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast
- Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil, Pavel Buchnevich
- Greg McKegg, Brett Howden, Brendan Smith
6:32PM: Quinn spoke before the game and said (NYR):
- On Staal returning, “I think he gives us such a different dimension with the makeup of our D, he’s a big guy, a lot of experience, has the ability to lean on people and have a little bit of physical element to his game, ability to get us out of our end when he’s sharp. We are pretty young back there so we embrace a guy with his experience and stature and certainly the way our guys respect him, it will be good to have him back.”
- More on Staal returning, “When you miss a month like he has there might be an adjustment period, ideally you’d like to give him more practice time and time to get his feet under him but it’s the NHL and we don’t have time for that so he’s in the lineup. He’s been out with an ankle situation but I think any time you sit out as long as he has with the injury, you take a deep breath, maybe learn a little as you are watching and hit the reset button.”
Henrik Lundqvist is the back up.
1:18PM: David Quinn said on the radio this morning that Marc Staal will return to the Rangers lineup against Montreal tonight. (ESPN Radio)
He said, “Staalsie will play tonight and we need him and it’s good to have him back. It’s been a long haul for him here with this injury and we are excited to have him back in the lineup.” (ESPN Radio)
Staal has missed the Rangers previous 13 games with an ankle injury and he will likely come in for Libor Hajek who suffered a “knee sprain” against Columbus.
When asked if Henrik Lundqvist, as expected, would start in goal, Quinn said “Georgie will come back tonight.” (ESPN Radio)
Quinn said, “I did this about a month ago, Hank won a game here and then we flew right after the game to Carolina and everyone in the world thought I was going to come back with Georgie and Hank played well and I wanted him to get another nod and that is the other game we stole, that game in Carolina. Georgie has been in a great spot and we will see him tonight.” (ESPN Radio)
Rick Carpiniello tweeted this morning that Lundqvist was ill during last night’s game, wasn’t on the bench and the Rangers had an emergency back up ready.