Back in blue: Hartford pregame

Back from break, darks at home: All is rightish with the world, with the potential exception of the absence of Steve Bernier, who’ll sit out for what’s being termed maintenance. He’s signing autographs, so that’s a decent sign.

That gets noted thug Stephen Gionta back into the lineup in his official return from suspension. Ryan Bourque also returns for Ben Holmstrom, and Alan notes that this is Bourque’s 500th pro game: 499 in the AHL plus his one for the Rangers.

The team-record home streak is on the line, 11-0-2-1 in the past 14. Last time it’s on the line until Jan. 12.

Hartford, without the suspended Peter Holland, called a couple of guys up from Portland this afternoon, though one of them appears to be the extra forward tonight. Unrelatedly, I’ll be on with Bob Crawford during the second intermission.

F: Dal Colle-Koivula-C.Bourque
Bellows-Jones-R.Bourque (A)
St. Denis-Kubiak-Gionta
D: Wotherspoon-Burroughs (C)
Vande Sompel-Aho
Helgeson (A)-Casto
G: Smith

F: Schneider (C)-Fogarty (A)-Lettieri
Melanson-O’Donnell-St. Amant
D: O’Gara (A)-Bigras
G: Tokarski

R: MacDougall, Gouin. L: B.Lyons, Pincus.

This should be the box.

Bridgeport scratches (believed healthy unless noted): apparently Rathgeb, Bernier (veteran/maintenance), Hitchcock, B.Holmstrom (veteran).

Michael Fornabaio