Rangers Notebook: No hat for Prust, Fedotenko still out
What do you get a guy who has not scored a goal in nearly four months?
Not the Broadway Hat.
Left wing Brandon Prust was not awarded the Broadway Hat, despite scoring the game-winning goal in the Rangers’ 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh was presented with the fedora after scoring a goal and playing 25:23, mostly matched up against Alex Ovechkin.
The goal was Prust’s third of the season and it came while short-handed. In setting a career high with 13 goals last season, Prust scored five times while the Rangers were a man down.
“Did he get the hat?” coach John Tortorella asked during his post-game press conference. After he was informed the recipient was McDonagh, Tortorella brought the room down when he replied, “McDonagh got the hat? Pruster should have gotten the hat.”
After the laughter subsided, Tortorella added, “You pull for him.”
Tortorella was proud of how his team responded to playing back-to-back matinees while in the midst of what arguably is the defining stretch of their season.
The Rangers returned to the Garden for yesterday’s nationally televised match against the Capitals after routing the Flyers, 5-2, at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
“I thought we handled ourselves really good today. I was concerned about the energy level after playing a real emotional week of hard hockey,” Tortorella said. “Coming back [after playing in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon] and playing a 12:30 [game], I thought we did well.”
No update on Fedotenko
There was no update on Ruslan Fedotenko’s condition. The left wing has not played since the third period of Thursday night’s 4-3 overtime win over the Lightning after Tampa Bay center Dominic Moore drove his shoulder into Fedotenko’s head.
Moore was fined $2,500 by the NHL for what the league termed an “interference infraction.”
Tortorella said that Fedotenko told him he was feeling better, but the coach was waiting to receive a diagnosis from head trainer Jim Ramsay. Tortorella thought that Fedotenko would make the trip to Boston with the team.
Bickel steps up
With Fedotenko out, Stu Bickel was inserted into the lineup as a fourth-line wing in the two weekend games.
The experiment has provided intriguing.
“It’s not going to be a long [term],” Tortorella said. “He had a couple good shifts, draws a penalty. It’s a guy with versatility. As we continue to try to work with him, it’s nice to know we can give him some shifts there.”
Bickel played 4:12 in Philadelphia Saturday. He finished with two penalties totaling 12 minutes after being called for roughing Flyers’ enforcer Tom Sestito and a misconduct as the two tried to fight in the first period. The Rangers ended up with a power play as Sestito received two, two-minute minors for roughing and a misconduct.
On Sunday, Bickel took four shifts totaling 3:30 and drew a first-period power play as he was hooked by Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman.
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.