Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 4/20/12
Rangers_gaborik_watches_18fe

The New York Rangers held practice this morning at Madison Square Garden, where they will play Game 5 of their series against the Senators tomorrow night. Per Andrew Gross, head coach John Tortorella kept sniping winger Marian Gaborik and star centerman Brad Richards on separate offensive lines from Wednesday's overtime loss in Ottawa. 

This top line that performed so well for the Blueshirts towards the end of the regular season has not been the same since Game 1 of the playoffs. A major reason for that, obviously, has been the three-game suspension issued to Carl Hagelin for a high elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson. As Tortorella pointed out many times, Hagelin's speed and puck pursuit served as the glue that kept that trio together. In his absence, Richards and Gaborik have struggled to generate scoring chances together. 

As a result, Tortorella hs split them up for the time being, but has also went back to line combinations that had success at an earlier stage of the year:

Stepan - Anisimov - Gaborik

Dubinsky - Richards - Callahan

Fedotenko - Boyle - Prust

Kreider - Mitchell - Rupp

That's what you will expect to see in tomorrow's Game 5 for New York, which will be the final game of Hagelin's suspension. I think it's likely that Tortorella goes back to Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik when No. 62 is back in the lineup, but for now separating the two is his best bet to get them going. 

Now, who's ready for Game 5 of Flyers-Penguins tonight?

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