The Rangers' Captain Ryan Callahan will be back in the line-up, well ahead of schedule. Initially projected to be out 10-14 days, he'll make his return just eight days after being diagnosed with a mild shoulder strain.
Among the current roster, only Marian Gaborik has scored more goals and put up more points as a Ranger against the Islanders, picking up 7 goals, 13 assists and 35 penalty minutes in 30 appearances between the two teams.
To make room for the return of Callahan, Tortorella has elected to scratch one of his "underperforming" forwards, namely Brian Boyle. It's the first time Boyle has been a healthy scratch since November 28th, 2009, and only the second time since he joined the Rangers.
Boyle has managed just one assist in nine games with the Rangers this year, and has been one of several disappointing forwards this season.
In more disappointing news, defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. Girardi's ice time has been picked up primarily by Anton Stralman, with Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy chipping in. Only Henrik Lundqvist has appeared in more games against the Islanders.
Girardi did skate briefly this morning, but remains "banged up" according to a team spokesman - per Jim Cerny and Blueshirts United.
Also reported today, Steve Eminger will return to the line-up, with Bickel scratched, and Henrik Lundqvist will make his 9th start of the season.