NEW YORK -- New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella met with the media before Thursday night's must-win game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Here's a synopsis of what he had to say:
Right winger Ryan Callahan (broken ankle) is out indefinitely, but Tortorella said he's already discussed it with the team and they're ready to move forward. "We've won without him," Tortorella said. "We've moved by it right away. We just need other guys to step up and find a way." When Callahan missed 19 games with a broken hand earlier in the season, the Rangers went 10-7-2 in his absence.
Callahan was normally stationed in front on the power play, and excelled at tipping shots from the point. He had 10 man-advantage goals and five assists on the season. Tortorella said that Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko could all be parked in front with Callahan out.
Tortorella said that rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy will see some time up on the wing, but will also take shifts at his normal position as well. Tortorella wants Gilroy to really focus his attention inside the Rangers' zone, but become a playmaker on rushes and breakouts up the ice. He will not be used on the power play. The Rangers are currently one for their last 23 with the man-advantage.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will make his 25th consecutive start, not that anyone even asked. Lundqvist is 10-3-1 with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in his last 14 games.
Center Chris Drury (knee) has participated in the last six practices, but Tortorella said there's no timetable for his return.
Dubinsky has excelled in the faceoff dot all season (52.0 percent), but Derek Stepan (38.6 percent) hasn't. Stepan usually plays with Vinny Prospal, and Tortorella said he'll leave it up to the two of them to split draws based on matchups and where they are on the ice (Prospal will take most of them in the defensive zone). As Tortorella noted, Prospal is one of those guys that's "hit or miss" when it comes to faceoffs. "He'll either win it cleanly or lose it badly," Tortorella said.