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Rangers' Klein out 2-3 weeks with strained oblique

by Dan Rosen /

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein will miss 2-3 weeks with a strained oblique muscle, coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday.

Klein was injured in the first period of the Rangers' 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

"From what I saw he did it to himself skating back [into the Rangers' zone]," Vigneault said. "But he said in the morning [Monday] that they worked on him and he felt tight."

With injuries to Klein and center Derek Stepan (out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs), the Rangers are down to six healthy defensemen and 12 healthy forwards for their game against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Vigneault said they don't expect to recall anybody from Hartford of the American Hockey League until they go on the road next week or unless someone else gets hurt because they don't have to travel for their next three games.

In addition to playing the Islanders, the Rangers are at home against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and the Ottawa Senators on Sunday before going to Western Canada for three games next week.

Vigneault said they should be able to recall a forward and a defenseman for the road trip because Stepan can go on long-term injured reserve. He would be required to miss 10 games or 24 days if he goes on LTIR. He has already missed two games and isn't expected back anytime soon.

"We can have some relief there," Vigneault said.

Vigneault said Dylan McIlrath will get an opportunity with Klein out to play consistently. He has played in only six of 25 games this season.

"Dylan is going to slip in there and this is going to give him an opportunity, at least for the next 2-3 weeks here, to show that he's NHL-ready and that he can come in and contribute," Vigneault said.

Klein had six points and a plus-11 rating while averaging 21:02 of ice time through 24 games before getting hurt Monday. He set career-highs with nine goals and 26 points last season.


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