NHL notes: Torts takes verbal shot at DeBoer

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:15 PM ET

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, usually not one to mince words, fired another shot Tuesday in his war of words with New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

A day after three fights broke out off the opening faceoff of the Devils-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, Tortorella effectively told his Jersey counterpart to zip it.

"I think Peter needs to jog his memory, as far as the starting lineups that I've put in his building," Tortorella told ESPN.com. "And really, basically just shut up. And I need to also."

Monday night, DeBoer started a trio of tough guys -- Eric Boulton, Cam Janssen and Ryan Carter -- while Tortorella countered with Mike Rupp, Brandon Prust and Stu Bickel, his three scrappers. Naturally, all six dropped the gloves as soon as the puck hit the ice.

Afterwards, DeBoer said Tortorella was a "hypocrite" or was suffering from "short-term memory loss," a reference to a December game between the two teams that resulted in two fights off the opening draw. Tortorella had Prust and Rupp in his starting lineup that night, prompting DeBoer to counter with some muscle.

"I get put into a position when he puts a lineup out, that I'm not sure what's going to happen if I put my top players out, so I have to answer the way I need to answer," Tortorella said of Monday's game. "Just look at the two lineups and some of the things he's done through the games here. I don't want to coach his team here, but just shut up."

RADULOV EN ROUTE

Alexander Radulov appears closer to returning to the Nashville Predators.

Radulov tweeted Tuesday that he was flying to New York, then Nashville, and posted a photo of himself on a plane.

"Yes, there is the strong rumour and possibility that Radulov is on a plane coming here," Predators coach Barry Trotz said on the team's website. "I get that. If he's here, then we'll fit him in the lineup, just like we have (with other guys).

"Can he help us? Yes he can. He's a dynamic player. He'll have to transition over to here as quick as possible."

Radulov has long been rumoured to be headed back to the Predators, the team he left in the lurch when he bolted to the KHL in 2008. The Russian forward, who played for Ufa Salavat Yulayev the last four seasons, still has one year left on his entry-level contract with the Predators.

If he actually arrived in Nashville Tuesday, the earliest he could play is Thursday in Pittsburgh.

MORE WOES FOR HOWARD

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard won't play Wednesday against the Rangers in New York due to a groin injury the team is calling minor.

"I don't think it's anything major, just some tightness," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com. "We're obviously trying to be cautious."

Howard's injury has forced the Red Wings to call up Ty Conklin from Grand Rapids of the AHL on an emergency basis. If Conklin clears waivers, he will start against the Rangers. If not, rookie Jordan Pearce will make his first career start.

Backup goalie Joey MacDonald is also sidelined with a back injury. He had an MRI done Monday, which showed he doesn't have a bulging disc, and visited a specialist Tuesday to find out what the problem is.

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom practiced Tuesday and could play Saturday against Carolina.

BRIEFLY

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler is off the hook for his low-bridge hit on Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck Monday night. Kesler, who got a minor penalty for the hit, won't be suspended or fined ... Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo will start Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks after Cory Schneider played in back-to-back games. Luongo has lost his last four starts ... Columbus Blue Jackets backup goalie Curtis Sanford will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury, according to coach Todd Richards. Rookie Allen York will back up Steve Mason the rest of the way ... The Toronto Maple Leafs signed junior forward Brad Ross to a three-year-entry-level contract Tuesday. Ross had 42 goals and 40 assists in 68 games with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL this season ... St. Cloud University forward David Eddy inked a two-year, two-way contract with the Calgary Flames. Eddy, who had nine goals and 16 assists in 39 games with St. Cloud this season, is leaving the school a year early to turn pro ... LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier must pay royalties if he wants to continue using an image of the famous Hollywood sign on his mask. The owners of the iconic sign have told Bernier to cease and desist or pay up ... The New Jersey Devils signed Plymouth Whalers goalie Scott Wedgewood to an entry-level contract. Wedgewood played for Canada at the world juniors this year.


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