Forward Pavel Buchnevich did not take part in Rangers practice Saturday, and head coach Alain Vigneault said there could be more than just back spasms keeping the rookie out of the lineup.
"Not a set back. Today he came in and wasn't feeling the way we expected him," Vigneault said of the 21-year-old. "Right now we're going to have our doctors take a good look at him. This obviously might be more than just back spasms. We're going to take a look at this and we'll come up with a plan and I'll share that plan with you."
Buchnevich will miss his four straight game with back spasms. This comes after he missed time earlier in the year for the same issue. He has four goals and four assists in 10 games this season.
While the news on Buchnevich was not what the Rangers had wanted, the news appears to be positive for Josh Jooris, who has missed the last three weeks with a shoulder injury. The forward declared himself ready to play Sunday against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.
"I feel pretty good. It's been there and a half weeks here," Jooris said. "I've done everything I could off the ice to get ready. It feels good. I'm ready to go."
Jooris skated on the wing with Brandon Pirri and Jesper Fast in practice, with Vigneault stating he wanted to see the 25-year-old on a line. He would not commit to Jooris playing before watching Florida's game in Ottawa tonight.
"I wanted to get a look at him today on a regular line, a regular turn and make sure he was 100 percent," Vigneault said.
If he gets the call, Jooris said he's ready to play.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "We'll see what they say tomorrow. I had a good practice today. I felt really good. If I get the opportunity, I'll be ready."
Oscar Lindberg skated as an extra. Henrik Lundqvist will start Sunday against the Panthers.
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Jimmy Vesey - Mika Zibanejad - Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner - Kevin Hayes - J.T. Miller
Josh Jooris - Brandon Pirri - Jesper Fast