Not that there was a lot of doubt that captain Ryan Callahan would play in Game 7 -- the gritty winger did not miss a shift on Monday after taking Chris Phillips' blistering shot to the hand -- but he confirmed Thursday morning that he was physically ready to go after missing Wednesday's practice with a "maintenance" day.
"I'm fine," he said after Thursday's morning skate.
Callahan's sparkplug play has been the catalyst for the team's physical, blue-collar style, so to miss him in such a pivotal game would've been devastating. The team is already without crucial checking-line center Brian Boyle, who has been sidelined with a concussion since Game 5.
Relieved that Callahan is playing, the Rangers will also receive an added boost from a hometown crowd at Madison Square Garden.
"It's MSG with out fans," said alternate captain Brad Richards. "I'd rather be here than anywhere else."