Rangers coach David Quinn may not want to make too many lineup changes when his streaking squad hits the ice Friday afternoon in Philadelphia.
But with Cody McLeod out at least a month after suffering a broken hand Wednesday night, Mats Zuccarello says he's ready to help out after recovering from a groin injury.
Zuccarello has missed six of the last seven games with the injury, admitting that he returned prematurely for the Rangers' Nov. 15 loss to the Islanders.
"I probably thought I was going to be better than I was last time, and I probably should have taken a different way," the winger told the New York Post on Thursday. "I probably shouldn't have played. But it is what it is. Now I feel good."
But Zuccarello may have to wait a bit longer. Quinn said the Rangers could play with seven defensemen against the Flyers, or call someone up from Hartford (NY Post).
The Rangers are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games (and 5-1-1 in that span without Zuccarello), so giving the 31-year-old some extra time shouldn't hurt them. Especially since the team plays again Saturday afternoon against the Capitals and Monday night against the Senators.
Still, Zuccarello wouldn't mind returning to action immediately.
"Felt better now than it did last time," he said, per the Post. "Hopefully I can play, but it's hard to crack the lineup. This is a hot team."