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Girardi Sidelined by Swollen Knee

by Jim Cerny / New York Rangers

Though the injury does not appear to be serious, veteran defenseman Dan Girardi will miss Tuesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers due to swelling in his knee. Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault categorized Girardi's injury status as "day-to-day" following the club's optional practice Monday at the MSG Training Center.

The extremely durable Girardi was hampered the past two games by the swelling after originally hurting his knee while blocking a shot in the third period of last Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver. He still was able to play 30 shifts and more than 18 minutes two nights later in the 7-5 loss in Edmonton, before grinding through another 28 shifts and 17:46 in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss in Calgary.

Since being called up to the NHL during the 2006-07 season, Girardi has appeared in 682 of a possible 687 regular season games. He missed two games due to injury in both the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons, and was a healthy scratch in the final game of the 2013-14 campaign to rest before the start of the playoffs.

In 31 games played this season, Girardi has two goals and seven assists for nine points, and a +5 plus/minus rating.

With Kevin Klein also out injured the Rangers only have five healthy defensemen, and Vigneault said that a decision on which d-man to be recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack will be made Monday afternoon. The likely candidates include veteran Raphael Diaz, former Phoenix Coyote Chris Summers, and rookie Brady Skjei, the Rangers first-round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft.

"It would be Diaz, but he's been hurt," noted Vigneault.

Like Girardi, Diaz is a right-handed shooting defenseman, plus he has 201 games of NHL experience.

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