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Rangers' Nash misses practice

Forward takes maintenance day after scoring first goal since return, expected to skate Wednesday

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash did not practice Tuesday after scoring the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Monday.

The Rangers said Nash, who recently returned from a 20-game absence because of a bone bruise in his left leg, was taking a maintenance day. Coach Alain Vigneault said Nash is expected to skate in advance of the game against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1).

Nash's goal against Florida was his first in six games since coming back into the lineup. Vigneault indicated Nash is still dealing with some effects of the injury.

"It's still going to take some time," Vigneault said. "He woke up sore and the trainers felt the best thing to do was give him the day off. He'll skate [Wednesday] morning and go from there."

It has to be somewhat frustrating for Vigneault and Nash that he wasn't able to participate in practice Tuesday because of how limited the Rangers' practice time has been since Nash returned to the lineup. He has had only one practice and select morning skates wrapped around his six games.

"Those practices permit you to stay sharp and stay crisp," Vigneault said. "The conditioning part he can do quite a bit off the ice, but there's nothing like being on the ice and doing what a hockey player does."

Vigneault stressed he thought Nash played his best game since returning against Florida because he took the puck to the net, got on the inside of the defense and attempted to make plays in tight areas. The problem was he struggled to finish plays, which Vigneault attributed to a lack of practice time.

"Maybe a little more practice and the hands will follow," Vigneault said, "but he got his first goal and I think he's on the right track."

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