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McIlrath & Staal Both Day To Day, Will Not Play Tuesday

by Jim Cerny / New York Rangers

Two of the Rangers seven defensemen will not be making the trip to Buffalo to play the Sabres Tuesday night, so the club will make an emergency recall from their Hartford Wolf Pack minor league affiliate, with an announcement likely being made some time on Monday afternoon.

Marc Staal, who did not practice Monday, will miss his second consecutive game with back spasms on Tuesday, while teammate Dylan McIlrath will not make the trip due to a knee injury suffered during Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Islanders.

The good news is that both defensemen are listed as day-to-day by the team. That is of particular good news for McIlrath who appeared to be more seriously hurt when checked hard and awkwardly into the boards near the Blueshirts bench by Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck in the first period Sunday. McIlrath was in obvious distress down on the ice before skating to the dressing room. He later took a brief twirl on the ice before the second period began to test the knee, but quickly headed back to the locker room and did not play the rest of the game.

McIlrath has been healthy this entire season, while Staal will be missing his third game in the past week with back spasms, and he also recently sat out another game because of the flu.

Head coach Alain Vigneault did not indicate which defenseman might get the call up from Hartford though the team does have veteran Raphael Diaz as an option, as well as both Brady Skjei and Chris Summers who both have been recalled previously this season.

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