In terms of recent injuries, the New York Rangers experienced what equates to a good news, bad news scenario when they practiced Saturday — two days after an ugly 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.
While Filip Chytil will return from an absence, stalwart defenseman Ryan Lindgren will not play Sunday when the Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings.
The Rangers are 3-3-2 in their past eight games after winning three of their first four contests. They played the past five without Chytil, who sustained an upper-body injury that reportedly was a concussion in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 23. Chytil was on the ice only 11 seconds in that game.
Chytil, who scored eight goals in 67 games and seven more in 20 postseason games last season, fully practiced with a new eye shield as he prepares to resume his role on the third line.
“Fil’s a big part of our group,” New York coach Gerard Gallant told reporters Saturday. “And you know, we really miss him when he’s out. So obviously it makes a big difference in your top nine (forward group), for sure.”
While Chytil’s return will be a welcome sight, the Rangers hope they can withstand Lindgren’s absence and figure out who gets paired with Adam Fox, who scored the tying goal Thursday before Boston pulled away.
Lindgren was injured early in the first period on a hit by Boston star David Pastrnak and played 3:09 in the game before the Rangers allowed four goals in the third period.
“If he was able to come back, he would’ve,” Fox said Thursday. “I don’t know what the diagnosis is on him, but obviously a big loss for us.”
Detroit heads to Madison Square Garden coming off a pair of impressive defensive showings at home against the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders but is attempting to halt a three-game road skid during which it has been outscored 17-7.
After enduring an 8-3 loss at Buffalo on Monday, the Red Wings posted a 3-1 win over Washington on Thursday and blanked the Islanders 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. Detroit allowed a season-low 24 shots on goal after allowing at least 31 in its previous six games.
Ville Husso won his third straight start by making half of his saves in the third period after Lucas Raymond scored a power-play goal and Pius Suter netted a shorthanded tally in a span of 6:22 in the second period.
Raymond scored a power-play goal for the second straight contest and has four goals in his past four games after not getting a goal in his first seven of the season.
“I really liked our entire game,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “I know we won the special-teams battle — that was a big difference to go up 2-0 — but our five-on-five game led to that. It was good. Good focus from our group.”
The Rangers are 5-0-1 in the past six meetings with the Red Wings and earned at least one point in 13 of their past 14 encounters (9-1-4).
Last season, the Rangers posted a 5-4 overtime win in Detroit on March 30 and rolled to a 4-0 win on April 16 in New York after losing in the shootout in Detroit on Feb. 17.
–Field Level Media