Per Sean Hartnett, injured winger Chris Kreider had surgery on his hand and will be out indefinitely. Kreider was not on the road trip with the team, and will be out for at least the remainder of the regular season. Kreider’s 37 points (6th on the team) and 17 goals (3rd) leave a big hole in the lineup that will need to be filled by the snake-bitten Martin St. Louis, among others. With Kreider’s injury, it is unlikely that J.T. Miller will be returned to Hartford at all this season.
Per Pat Leonard, defenseman Justin Falk is not on this trip, as his wife is having a baby. Falk hasn’t played since December 29th, and has played just 20 games this season.
One last note: Martin Straka officially retired yesterday. In three seasons with the Rangers, Straka put up a line of 65-122-187 in 224 games.
Sorry this is late folks. Per Bob McKenzie, Chris Kreider has a hand injury and will be out around a month. Kreider missed all of the third period and overtime against Phoenix on Monday night with the injury.
The timing of the injury couldn’t come at worse time, as the Rangers are gearing up for a playoff run. This won’t affect their ability to make the playoffs, but it will affect their ability to score once the playoffs start.
Raphael Diaz, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline, will make his Rangers debut tonight in New Jersey. Diaz will take John Moore’s spot in the lineup, as Moore did not return after taking a big hit in the first period of last night’s victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It is expected that Diaz will be on a pairing with Kevin Klein.
Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers are getting back their leading scorer (well, not including Martin St. Louis) tonight, as Mats Zuccarello will be rejoining the lineup after suffering a broken hand in the Olympics. Zuccarello missed Norway’s final game in Sochi and the first five games since the break. Zucc will likely rejoin linemates Benoit Pouliot and Derick Brassard on the third line.
Derek Dorsett, who was the only forward at the optional skate this morning, will likely sit.
The Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled forward Michael St. Croix from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. This is St. Croix’s third stint with the AHL, where he is scoreless in nine games (2 PIMs, -3 rating). In 37 games in Greenville, St. Croix has a line of 13-27-40, with 12 PIMs and a +1 rating. St. Croix might be replacing the injured Danny Kristo in the lineup.
The Pack also recalled goaltender Scott Stajcer, but that is more a formality. He suffered another hip injury, and will miss the rest of the season. This is the same hip injury that has plagued him for the entire career. Stajcer is an RFA at the end of this year, and likely won’t be re-signed.
Despite earlier reports that the injury to Mats Zuccarello was not serious, the winger and Rangers leading scorer will be out 3-4 weeks with that broken hand. Considering the Olympic break doesn’t end until Thursday for the Rangers, Zuccarello will miss 2-3 weeks of games. That amounts to anywhere from 5-7 games. This is obviously a blow for the Rangers, as Zuccarello has been a huge asset to the team, and has been the backbone of his line with Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot.
The Rangers might not need to make a call up, depending on how well Derek Dorsett progresses from his broken leg. If they do need to make a call up, J.T. Miller would likely be the fill-in.
In injury news, Derek Dorsett is skating in a non-contact jersey, and hopes to be ready when the season resumes next week. Dorsett has missed 17 games with a broken leg suffered against Pittsburgh on January 3.
Also, per Steve Zipay, the Rangers –who practiced yesterday– will have practice today, tomorrow, and Monday through Wednesday. The Olympians will rejoin the team on Wednesday for a full team practice.
Per Seth Rothman, citing a Norwegian report, Mats Zuccarello has a small fracture in his injured left hand. Zuccarello suffered the injury Sunday against Austria after taking a slash to the hand, and sat out the elimination game against Russia yesterday. The injury is not expected to be a long-term injury, and Zuccarello could be ready by the time the NHL season resumes on February 27. The injury does not require surgery.
Per John Giannone on the MSG broadcast, winger Derek Dorsett will not return to tonight’s game. Dorsett injured himself blocking a shot while killing a penalty in the first period.
Update: Per Pat Leonard, Falk and Del Zotto appear to be the scratches for tomorrow if Stralman can go.
Original Post: There was a lot of news coming from practice today, courtesy of Brett Cyrgalis (New York Post). Marc Staal will play tomorrow, and Anton Stralman was taking rushes with Michael Del Zotto. John Moore and Justin Falk formed the fourth defense pairing. Staal was skating with rookie Connor Allen, who appears to be getting at least one more game with the big club. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi were back together as well. The full lines:
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Derick Brassard-Brad Richards-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-J.T. Miller-Benoit Pouliot
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett
Moore-Falk (likely scratches if Stralman is good to go)
Per Andrew Gross, there is no decision on Stralman as of yet. He will see how he feels tomorrow. If he can’t go, one of Moore or Falk will skate with Del Zotto.
Ryan Callahan was in a non-contact jersey.