Consider it another step in the right direction for injured Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh.
After riding the stationary bike each oft he last two days, McDonagh was back on the ice today for the first time since suffering a concussion last Saturday in Philadelphia. Despite the positive steps forward, McDonagh will miss his third consecutive game tonight when the Rangers host the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden.
Wearing a track suit McDonagh skated on his own before the team's morning skate at MSG. This came after his first physical activity Wednesday when he rode the stationary bike in New York for the first time while his teammates were out in Pittsburgh to play the Penguins.
"He's coming along, just following the protocol," explained Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault Friday morning. "We just hope that when the intensity (of the workouts) gets higher he stays symptom free. We'll see how he does tomorrow and then go from there."
Vigneault did emphasize that neither of his bike workouts nor his skate Friday morning was extensive or grueling in any way. The head coach referred to each of the sessions as a "light" workout..
The Rangers have won the first two games McDonagh has missed due to the concussion, beating the Devils 2-1 at The Garden on Monday before shutting out the Penguins 3-0 on Wednesday. The Blueshirts will host the Flyers on Sunday, meaning they will see Wayne Simmonds just one week after he delivered the blow which concussed New York's captain.
The news on injured forward Rick Nash was not quite as encouraging. Nash remained off the ice with a bad bone bruise in his leg, and tonight he will miss his eighth straight contest with the injury.
"It's taking a long time," stated Vigneault. "There's still pain, walking. Just day to day with a bad bone bruise."