In case you missed it, Anton Stralman left last nights loss to the Washington Capitals early in the second period. Stralman is officially considered day-to-day, but at this point his status is up in the air for tomorrow night in Tampa.
As a precaution, the New York Rangers recalled defenseman Conor Allen from Hartford. With the team only carrying 6 healthy D due to Staal's injury, he'll likely be pressed into action tomorrow in the event Stralman can't go.
Allen, who played his college hockey at Umass, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rangers last March. The 23-year-old has good size, standing at 6-2, 210 pounds, and has decent offensive numbers in Hartford, putting up a 5-8-13 line in 29 games. Seven of those points have come in his last seven games, and he's coming off a two-point outing on Thursday against the Islanders affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Allen is a -8, if you put stock into that sort of thing, but Hartford is 10-15-4 this year, making it difficult for anyone to be a plus player. More importantly, Allen did not look out of place in training camp with the Rangers, and started the season in Hartford not as a result of a lack of ability, but rather because Blueshirts' brass wanted him to get ice time in the AHL to develop, instead of serving as a 7th defenseman and seeing sporadic ice in the NHL.
While it could be interesting to see what Allen has to offer, don't underestimate the loss of Stralman–if he does in fact miss any time. The smooth-skating Swede has been very steady this season, and has become a true top-4 defenseman, vaulting past Michael Del Zotto on the depth chart. With Staal out likely a few more games still, if Stralman can't go for any extended period of time, the Rangers' defense corp suddenly becomes very thin.
-Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello played through a flu bug last night, and missed practice to recuperate today.
-Marc Staal skated, but will not play tomorrow. Larry Brook's suggests his target return date is Friday vs. Pittsburgh.
-Not surprisingly, Henrik Lundqvist will start tomorrow. It will be his first action in 9 days.
-Alain Vigneault on Conor Allen: "We played him 3 games in preseason and liked what he brought in training camp. He has a tremendous amount of upside."
-Conor Allen on getting the call up: "It was surreal. I didn't recognize the voice and thought it was prank call"
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