Monday was quite the busy day for Rangers center Dominic Moore, who has missed six straight games due to a strained oblique muscle. First he skated for 40 minutes with fellow injured forward Rick Nash to work on his conditioning and to take some shots on goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot. Then Moore took part in the team's complete 45-minute practice right afterwards, leaving him a bit exhausted, but feeling good as he nears a return from the injury.
"It's feeling better by the day, and I just keep testing it, but it feels good," Moore said of the oblique injury. "It's one of those muscles that affects everything, so it's a matter of testing it and hopefully it keeps getting better."
Following practice head coach Alain Vigneault said that Moore would not play Tuesday night against the Devils, but "with a couple more practices" he should be ready to return to the lineup Saturday night in Montreal.
"It's good to be back practicing, that's for sure," stated Moore. "It feels good. It was pretty exhausting out there, especially early on when (the coaches) had me skate around pylons and every once in a while shoot one against a goalie!"
Nash, of course, is further behind in his injury rehab, but it most definitely was a good sign that he felt good enough to skate for a third consecutive day at the MSG Training Center. Nash has sat out the last 14 games because of a head injury, but said on Saturday that he finally has been headache-free the past several days.
"It's great to see Nasher back on his feet, back out there on the ice where he belongs," Moore said of Nash. "Little by little he'll get better. Just have to be patient."
The Rangers are expected to ice the same lineup Tuesday against the Devils as they did in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers, meaning Brandon Mashinter will skate in the place of recently-injured forward Taylor Pyatt.