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Rangers center Zibanejad out indefinitely with concussion

New York's top scorer was late scratch before game vs. Panthers on Tuesday

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New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad is out indefinitely with a concussion, coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday.

Zibanejad is going through concussion protocol and there is no timetable for his return.

Vigneault said Zibanejad was injured on a hit by Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm during New York's 2-1 overtime win Friday. Zibanejad played in a 4-3 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday and took part in the morning skate and warmup Tuesday before being scratched for the game against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

"It didn't seem like much, but my understanding is he did talk to the [doctors] after [the game against Detroit], felt fine, was cleared. We had an optional [skate] the next day. He came in, did off-ice, played the next game, felt fine," Vigneault said. "We had a day off on Monday and then he came in for the morning skate [Tuesday] and wasn't feeling well, had some symptoms. He came in at night, tried the warmup, still didn't feel well, so we shut him down and we're following the protocol."

David Desharnais skated in Zibanejad's place between Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich and had three assists; the line had nine points (three goals, six assists) in a 5-4 loss.

"We called up Davey at 5:30 to come in and take warmup and play that night and that line was good," Vigneault said. "That's what happens in a season."

Video: VGK@NYR: Zibanejad lasers in PPG on wicked wrister

Zibanejad leads the Rangers with 11 goals and 22 points. He became New York's top-line center following the trade of center Derek Stepan and goalie Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Tony DeAngelo and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23. Two days later, Zibanejad agreed to terms on a five-year contract with an average annual value of $5.35 million.

Selected by the Ottawa Senators with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Zibanejad was traded to the Rangers for center Derick Brassard on July 18, 2016. Zibanejad had 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 56 games last season (an NHL career-high 0.66 points per game), missing almost two months with a broken fibula. He had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games before New York was eliminated by Ottawa in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

The Rangers acquired center Peter Holland in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday for forward Adam Cracknell.

New York's next game is Friday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-CR, NHL.TV).

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