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Rangers without Nash visiting Avalanche

by Rick Sadowski /

RANGERS (8-2-2) at AVALANCHE (4-8-1)


DENVER -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash will not be in the lineup Friday against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center because of a sore back.

"I think he had a good day today and he's going to come in tonight for treatments," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said two hours before the opening faceoff. "He's day-to-day."

Vigneault said he thinks the injury is minor and it wouldn't prevent Nash from traveling for the game Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

Nash, who has one goal in 12 games, hurt his back during practice Thursday at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus.

Emerson Etem will take Nash's place at left wing on New York's top line with center Derick Brassard and right wing Mats Zuccarello.

Etem, 23, has one assist in three games. The Rangers acquired Etem and the No. 41 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 27 from the Anaheim Ducks for left wing Carl Hagelin and two draft picks.

Vigneault also said rookie defenseman Dylan McIlrath will play his second straight game in place of Dan Boyle, 39. McIlrath will be paired with Keith Yandle.

"He hasn't played a lot of hockey and this is his first opportunity to play back-to-back games," Vigneault said of McIlrath. "We need to get a read on him. I already talked to Dan a little bit about the possibility when we're playing back-to-backs we might be looking at this scenario to look at the big picture and keep him a little fresher. So Dylan's going to go tonight and we'll go from there."

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