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Klein to play for Rangers against Flyers

New York defenseman back in lineup despite broken thumb

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

RANGERS (28-18-5) at FLYERS (23-18-8)


PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein will return to the lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, coach Alain Vigneault said.

Klein sustained a broken thumb Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils and was expected to be out indefinitely. Instead, Klein practiced Wednesday and Thursday and said Friday that he could have played Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.

Klein has three goals and 10 points in 38 games this season. He leads the Rangers with a plus-14 rating and is third with an average ice time of 20:01 per game.

With Klein returning to the lineup, defenseman Dylan McIlrath will be a healthy scratch.

The only other lineup change is forward Tanner Glass, who will play on the Rangers' fourth line after being a healthy scratch Thursday. 
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will make his sixth straight start for the Rangers.

The Flyers likely will have forward Nick Cousins back in the lineup after he was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Friday. He'll replace Sean Couturier, who will be out about four weeks because of a lower-body injury.

Cousins had no points and two shots on goal in four games with the Flyers earlier this season. He leads Lehigh Valley with 38 points in 38 games.

It's expected that Scott Laughton will move into Couturier's line between forwards Sam Gagner and Brayden Schenn. Cousins will take Laughton's spot between Michael Raffl and Matt Read.

Goalie Steve Mason is expected to make his third straight start for the Flyers.

Here are the projected lineups:


J.T. Miller - Derick Brassard - Jesper Fast  
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello  
Viktor Stalberg - Oscar Lindberg - Kevin Hayes  
Daniel Paille - Dominic Moore - Tanner Glass 
Dan Girardi - Ryan McDonagh  
Kevin Klein - Keith Yandle  
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle  
Henrik Lundqvist 
Antti Raanta

Injured: Rick Nash (leg)

Scratched: Dylan McIlrath


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds  
Sam Gagner - Scott Laughton - Brayden Schenn 
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White  
Michael Raffl - Nick Cousins - Matt Read 
Michael Del Zotto - Shayne Gostisbehere  
Nick Schultz - Mark Streit  
Evgeny Medvedev - Radko Gudas  
Steve Mason 
Anthony Stolarz

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Sean Couturier (lower body)

Scratched: R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Brandon Manning

Status report: Glass returns to the lineup after forward Jayson Megna was sent to Hartford of the AHL on Friday.

Who's hot: Miller has eight goals and one assist in his past eight games. ... Simmonds has scored two goals in three of the past four games, including two straight. He has six goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. 

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