NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers lost an under-performing forward to a season-ending injury, so they acquired another one.
Wojtek Wolski is expected to make his debut with the surging Rangers when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night in the first of two meetings in five days.
New York (25-15-3) has won eight of 12 (8-2-2) and is on its fourth three-game winning streak this season after beating St. Louis 2-1 on goals from Derek Stepan and Sean Avery on Saturday. The team hasn’t won four in a row since Dec. 17-23, 2009.
The Rangers’ success has come despite injuries to forwards Ryan Callahan (hand), Erik Christensen (knee), Vinny Prospal (knee) and Derek Boogaard (headaches, shoulder).
They added another to that list Saturday, as Alexander Frolov was lost for the season with a torn right ACL and sprained MCL sustained when the Blues’ Brad Winchester fell on his leg. The left wing, though, had been struggling in his first season with New York, tallying seven goals and nine assists in 43 games.
“Keep playing. Just gotta keep on playing,” coach John Tortorella said of the injuries. “Every team goes through it, so you just gotta keep on playing.”
With Frolov out, New York acquired Wolski from Phoenix on Monday in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival.
Wolski was struggling with the Coyotes, scoring six goals with 10 assists and was a minus-6 in 36 games. The left wing had career highs of 23 goals, 42 assists, 65 points and a plus-21 rating with Phoenix and Colorado last season. He also tied an NHL record with 10 shootout goals on 12 attempts for the Avalanche in 2008-09.
“We think we have some players that he can be successful with,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. “We think our coaching team will be able to get the best out of him. He’s 6-foot-3, he’s a great skater, he sees the ice well, he’s got a terrific shot, he’s good around the net. We think we can get that consistently out of him.”
Wolski will try to bolster a club that is third in the Atlantic Division, three points behind Pittsburgh and four back of Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia.
Brandon Dubinsky has two goals and seven assists while helping the Rangers go 5-1-1 in their last seven home games.
New York went 1-2-1 against Montreal (23-16-3) last season, but has won six of the last eight matchups at MSG.
Trying to reverse that trend may be tough for the Canadiens, losers of nine of 12 on the road. Montreal, though, improved to 3-0-1 in its last four overall with a 3-2 comeback win over Boston on Saturday, scoring twice in the final 2:22 of regulation before Max Pacioretty won it in overtime.
Captain Brian Gionta leads the Canadiens with 15 goals, scoring three in his last four games. Michael Cammalleri, meanwhile, has gone a season-high nine games without a goal, but has six in his last three games against the Rangers.
James Wisniewski has two goals and four assists in five games since being acquired in a trade with the New York Islanders on Dec. 28. The defenseman has set up three goals in four season meetings with the Rangers.
These teams will meet again in Montreal on Saturday. Before that, the Canadiens host Pittsburgh on Wednesday while the Rangers face visiting Vancouver the following night.
© 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
- Rangers Trade Rozsival To Coyotes For Wolski (newyork.cbslocal.com)