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Shattenkirk out indefinitely for Rangers, will have surgery on left knee

Defenseman plans to return before end of regular season

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will be sidelined indefinitely because of a meniscus tear in his left knee and will have surgery Monday.

Shattenkirk, 28, who has played in all 46 of New York's games, said at practice Friday that he has been playing with knee pain since training camp and it didn't make sense to continue without having the surgery. He said he is planning to rehab in time to be back with the Rangers before the end of the season; their final regular-season game is against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 7.

"It's come to a point now where looking at all the options, trying to stick it out or make it through the season with the way it's kind of been going, I think it's the right time to get surgery," Shattenkirk said. "Handle it and take care of it before it becomes something we don't want to do down the line later in the season that would put me out during a crucial part of the season."

Shattenkirk, who signed a four-year contract with the Rangers on July 1, has 23 points (five goals, 18 assists). He has no goals and eight assists in 30 games since Nov. 6, and has one point in 13 games Dec. 19. He played 17:17 and did not have a point in New York's 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

 

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He said he is scheduled to meet with doctors Friday to talk through the surgery and get a better idea on a return-to-play timeline.

"It's definitely not something that is going to put me out for the remainder of the season," Shattenkirk said. "That's why we're approaching it now and taking care of it now. I'll get the surgery on Monday and go from there; rehab and try to get back as soon as possible."

Shattenkirk said had a cortisone shot before the season began, but the effects wore off 8-10 weeks later. He said he had another injection last week, but the inflammation returned.

"It's been going on all season, something we've been trying to aggressively attack and it just hasn't responded the way we hoped it would," Shattenkirk said.

Shattenkirk said it's been particularly difficult to keep himself in top physical shape because he hasn't been able to do as much off-ice training as he would like and is used to doing.

"I feel like because of it, my left leg is starting to get a lot weaker and not allowing me to play my game and have the escapability and the explosiveness in my skating that I think anyone will tell you is a big part of my game," Shattenkirk said. "I feel like recently it's been something that's really been glaring. It's to the point where we needed to decide on whether or not to do this, and I think it's the right thing to do in the long run."

Video: Kevin Shattenkirk on knee injury

Defenseman Tony DeAngelo is expected to replace Shattenkirk in the lineup. He was recalled with forward Daniel Catenacci from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Friday.

DeAngelo had 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 29 games with Hartford, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past 16 games. He had one assist in eight games with the Rangers this season.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he spoke about DeAngelo with Hartford coach Keith McCambridge on Friday.

"[McCambridge] said in the last couple weeks he had been very solid," Vigneault said. "Very solid at moving the puck out of his end, good on the power play, so he felt at this time [DeAngelo] was probably playing his best hockey since he's been in Hartford."

Video: Alain Vigneault on Shattenkirk's injury

The Rangers are also without defenseman Marc Staal (hip flexor) and forwards Kevin Hayes (leg contusion) and Chris Kreider (rib resection surgery).

Staal and Hayes will travel with the Rangers on Friday when they begin a four-game road trip, but Vigneault said they won't play at the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; MSG, ALT, NHL.TV) and are 50-50 to play at the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. They are expected to be on the ice both days. Kreider is out indefinitely.

The Rangers are fourth in the Metropolitan Division and hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"Injuries are part of the NHL, and it's part of the everyday makeup of a team," Vigneault said. "I mean, guys get sick, guys get hurt; sometimes it's not long, sometimes it's longer. You've got to put with your staff the best lineup that you think gives you a chance to win. Guys that have been called up from Hartford are obviously very happy to get an opportunity to play at this level. They want to show they belong here and can contribute and help the team win. Some other guys that have been here for a little bit longer, they always want more ice time. There is more ice time available.

"We have a good stretch in front of us, a very challenging stretch here of four games against four very good teams, starting [Saturday] afternoon, so I'm looking forward to this group going there and responding the right way and playing the right way."

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