J.T. Miller is "50/50" to play Tuesday night against Carolina according to head coach Alain Vigneault after the forward took a Mats Zuccarello shot off the knee in Sunday night's game against the Senators.
"I would say at this time he's 50/50," Vigneault told reporters Monday. "Like I mentioned postgame yesterday, he blocked one of Zuccy's shots, which opened up his kneecap. A few stitches there. He's dealing with pain and the stitches not opening up. I would say we'll have a better idea tomorrow, but my best guess at this time is 50/50."
If Miller, who is tied with Kevin Hayes for the team lead with 19 points, is unable to play, Vigneault said Oscar Lindberg would take his place in the lineup.
Lindberg, who has an assist in nine games this season, skated between Michael Grabner and Jesper Fast in practice on Monday, though Vigneault said the lines today are not necessarily the ones that will be in place tomorrow against Carolina.
After exploding out of the gate with 72 goals in their first 17 games of the season, the Rangers' offense has slowed a bit as of late, scoring 13 goals of the last six games, including last night's shutout at the hands of Ottawa. Over those six games, the Rangers have just two wins.
Captain Ryan McDonagh said the team must take the puck to the net more and look for dirty goals against teams like the Senators, who he said did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone to slow the speed Rangers down in getting the victory.
McDonagh said the team is still learning how to generate offense outside of its comfort zone of scoring off the rush.
"Just finding other ways to create offense here. That's what we're working on, that's what we're talking about," McDonagh said. "The strength of our game is our transition game, creating plays off the rush, but that's not always going to be available to us against teams who we're playing against."
Like McDonagh, Brandon Pirri said the Rangers just have to keep things simple, especially on the power play that went 0-for-4 in Sunday's loss.
"We just have to shoot more pucks. Get guys to the net and shoot more pucks," Pirri said of the power play. "When you get dirty ones, then [the opposition] tightens up a little bit, then you've got time to make the seam plays, the nice plays. The dirty ones come first, and that's what creates the other ones later on."
Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Hurricanes. He is 10-6-1 with a .915 SV% and a 2.43 GAA with one shutout this season.