Taylor Pyatt has been cleared for all action and returned to practice for the first time since suffering a concussion on November 7th.
Pyatt, who skated on the fourth defensive pair with Justin Falk, told Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record that he's feeling better, but there is still no timetable for his return.
Here's Alain Vigneault on Pyatt's progress…
“He’s doing fine, he’s been working out now for probably a little bit more than 10 days. He’s just following the steps. He’s been practicing on his own, today he’s joined the group. He’s been cleared for all activities. I would say if things continue to progress the way they are now, he should be ready for us soon.”
AV also gave this reason for staying with the same lineup tonight in Tampa…
“We played a pretty sound overall game both offensively and defensively the last game, we didn’t give the opposition very much, we had quality chances five on five and on the power play so we’re just going to go with the same lineup.”
JT Miller and Falk will be tonight's healthy scratches.
…as a "if it's not broke don't fix it" person, it's hard for me to argue against AV sticking with the same lineup that's been so productive offensively lately. Even if it means more Pouliot.
…it sucks that Miller is stuck eating pretzels in the press box, but you have to assume as soon as Pyatt is in game shape, Miller will be re-assigned to Hartford.
Here's Ryan McDonagh's key to tonight's game for the Rangers (via Blueshirts United)…
“We need to do what we did so well in Nashville, keep the puck in their end, have the puck much more than them, because we wore (the Predators) out the other night just trying to get out of their own end. Our transition game was really effective, and needs to be again.”
…after last year's playoff series against the Bruins when the Rangers averaged just one minute of puck possession per game, it has been fun to watch consistent pressure from the Blueshirts offense. It's been a huge to key to their offensive success recently.
Henrik Lundqvist is back between the pipes.