Slowly but surely, the Rangers are getting back to full strength.
Defenseman Kevin Klein told reporters on Tuesday that he's good to go for Wednesday night's matchup with the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden. He's missed the first three games of the regular season due to back spasms.
"I feel really good, so that's a positive," said Klein, who took part in his first practice with his teammates at the MSG Training Center after skating with the team prior to yesterday's 7-4 win over the Sharks at The Garden. "Just play it cautious, obviously. I want it to heal and feel good and strong out there. The past two days I've been skating with the guys and that's always a good sign."
Klein, who had nine goals and 17 assists a year ago, said he injured his back in a battle drill during practice. He was able to finish the practice, but said it "seized" up shortly after.
"It's just one of those things," Klein said. "It was a fluke thing. You just want to take care of it. It's your back. You don't want to have it linger."
For Klein, the Rangers' strong start with two wins in three games made the injury a bit more bearable, though he's still anxious to get into game action after a long summer followed by training camp.
"When you're sitting out and you're watching them - the guys are stepping in and working hard and playing well," Klein said. "You're just cheering for them. You don't want to be out and be behind the 8-ball to start the year. It makes it easier to take an extra game just to make sure it's 100 percent."
Defenseman Dan Girardi (strained groin) and Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) did not skate on Tuesday. Head coach Alain Vigneault said Girardi could begin skating in the next day or two, while Buchnevich remains day-to-day.