NEWARK -- New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his first game of the season Tuesday night. The team said he's "banged up" and lists him as day-to-day.
Stu Bickel, who had been playing forward, will move back and take Girardi's place on the blue line when the Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.
In addition, Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider will make his return to the lineup after missing the last five games, including four in a row while dealing with bone chips in his ankle.
Kreider will start the game on a line with the recently acquired Darroll Powe and rookie call-up J.T. Miller, who is making his NHL debut.
Girardi, who played in all 82 games last season and 120 in a row, has missed only two games in the last five-plus seasons. He did not practice Monday, but the team said he was simply taking a "maintenance day." Girardi was on the ice for the morning skate Tuesday, but when the Rangers came out for warmups prior to the game he was not with them.
Girardi has two assists and is a minus-3 in eight games this season.
Ryan McDonagh, Girardi's normal defense partner, was paired with Anton Stralman in warmups. Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto remained together with Bickel and Matt Gilroy making up the third pair.
Henrik Lundqvist is starting in net for the Rangers opposite the Devils' Martin Brodeur.
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