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Practice Notebook: Zuccarello Getting Healthy; Shattenkirk Out 2-4 Weeks

by Michael Obernauer /

Amid all the signs of the Rangers returning to health on Wednesday, there came the news of just how big a hit they took on their blue line.

While Mats Zuccarello, Pavel Buchnevich and Adam McQuaid all took regular turns in a practice session on Wednesday (and Cody McLeod came out for a skate after the full practice had wrapped up), the Rangers announced prior to hitting the ice that Kevin Shattenkirk will miss between two and four weeks with a separated shoulder. Shattenkirk exited Monday's game in Tampa during the second period after taking a hit from J.T. Miller. The blueliner has played in 29 of the Rangers' 30 games this season, including the last 26 straight.

David Quinn now will weigh his options on how to fill in for Shattenkirk on the right side of his blueline corps and on the Rangers' second power-play unit.

"Well, the good news is we feel like it's a position where we do have depth," the head coach said following practice on Wednesday. "We've talked about this, the fact that we have eight defensemen who can play and we feel comfortable with.

"It's a blow to us, he's been playing well. But we think we've got eight D that we feel comfortable with in the lineup night in and night out."

One of those is McQuaid, who hasn't played since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 25 in Chicago, but who shed his no-contact jersey and was a full participant in Wednesday's practice for the first time since the injury. McQuaid, like Shattenkirk, is a righthanded defenseman, and the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder could be an option for Quinn on Friday, when the Rangers begin a three-game homestand against the Arizona Coyotes.

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Kevin Shattenkirk Injury Update

Sidelined 2-4 weeks with shoulder separation

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will be sidelined for two-to-four weeks with a shoulder separation suffered on Monday, Dec. 10 against Tampa Bay.

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Rangers Assign Cole Schneider and Steven Fogarty to Hartford

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned forwards Cole Schneider and Steven Fogarty to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Schneider was recalled by the Rangers on Dec. 8. He has skated in 25 AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season, registering eight goals and nine assists for 17 points, along with four penalty minutes. At the time he was recalled by the Rangers, Schneider led the Wolf Pack in goals and power play goals (four), was tied for second in points, ranked third in shots on goal (48), and was tied for fourth in assists this season. He has tallied at least one point in 15 of 25 games he has played with the Wolf Pack this season.

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Recap: Rangers Head Home After Loss to Tampa Bay

by Michael Obernauer /

TAMPA - The consensus was clear in the Rangers' room afterward: Facing the hottest team in the NHL, they simply never gave themselves enough of a chance.

The Rangers committed a rash of penalties early, and Tampa Bay turned on the afterburners late as the Rangers lost to the Lightning, 6-3, on Monday night to leave the Blueshirts with a split of their two-game Dads' Trip through Florida.

"You play one of the best teams, probably the best team, in the League, you can get away with a win if you play smart, if you play within the rules," said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 30 saves. "And if you don't do that, you're not going to have a chance."

Kevin Hayes scored twice in the first period for the Rangers, but Steven Stamkos stole the show with his ninth career hat trick as the Lightning scored four straight goals spanning the second and third periods to win their seventh consecutive game.

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Postgame Notes: Rangers at Lightning 12.10.18

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

Team Notes

  • 20/30 VISION - Three Rangers have tallied 20 or more points through the team's first 30 games of the 2018-19 season (Mika Zibanejad - 26; Chris Kreider - 22; Kevin Hayes - 21).
  • TOP TEN - Filip Chytil tallied his 10th point of the 2018-19 season tonight. Ten Rangers have recorded 10 or more points through the first 30 games of the 2018-19 season (Zibanejad, Kreider, Hayes, Pionk, Vesey, Howden, Fast, Namestnikov, Zuccarello, and Chytil).
  • YOUTH SERVED - As of the conclusion of tonight's game, the Rangers are one of three NHL teams (along with Chicago and Ottawa) that have two or more rookies who have recorded at least 10 points this season (Howden and Chytil).
  • THREE'S COMPANY - The Rangers registered three goals in tonight's contest. Including team goals awarded for a shootout win, the Blueshirts have registered three or more goals in 14 of the last 20 games, in 17 of the last 25 games, and in 19 of the last 28 contests.
  • FIRST IN SCORE - The Rangers tallied the first goal of the game for the 12th time in the last 18 games, the 13th time in the last 20 games, and the 17th time in 30 contests this season.
  • HITTING MACHINE - The Rangers were credited with 29 hits in tonight's game, and 15 of 18 skaters recorded at least one hit in the game. The Blueshirts have registered at least 20 hits in 26 of 30 games this season (including each of the last 15 games), as well as 25 or more hits in 17 of 30 games in 2018-19.
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Lundkvist Happy to Make Sweden's Prelim Roster at World Juniors

by Uffe Bodin /

Nils Lundkvist could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Before Monday's practice, the 28th overall pick of the New York Rangers in last summer's draft was approached by his assistant coach in Luleå Hockey, Henrik Stridh. Stridh, who's also the assistant coach of the Swedish U20 team, told Lundkvist he had made it. He was indeed one of eight defensemen who had been selected for the preliminary roster ahead of the World Juniors.

"I had obviously been thinking about it quite a lot", Lundkvist tells "It's been in the back of my mind and I've eagerly been waiting for their decision. You always get nervous when there's uncertainty in life, but also a lot of happiness when you finally get the good news."

The 18-year-old defensemen, who's in his second SHL season with Luleå, have been a regular on head coach Tomas Montén's Swedish tournament rosters this season. His inclusion on the roster wasn't a surprise, but with the glut of talented defensemen Sweden is producing right now, it wasn't like he could relax either.

"We have a lot of really good young defensemen", Lundkvist notes. "The competition is extremely tough. Just look at the guys we have in North America with Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, Erik Brännström and Adam Boqvist. Those are exceptionally talented players."

And that's without mentioning the first overall pick from last summer's draft, Buffalo Sabres' rookie Rasmus Dahlin, who won't be made available for the tournament in Vancouver and Victoria. For Lundkvist's part, the fight for a roster spot is far from over. Out of the eight defensemen on the roster, one will be sent home before the tournament starts on December 26th.

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Rangers Dads Enjoying Awesome Road Trip With Their Sons

by Michael Obernauer /

TAMPA - With the Rangers' dads joining their boys on the team's two-game road trip to Florida, the fishing boat they took out together on a sundrenched Saturday morning was all about fun and relaxation and building on their common bond as hockey dads out on the beautiful open water. Catching any fish? That would be just the bonus.

Turned out to be one big, mean-looking bonus.

With the mahi-mahi biting (including one that managed to escape the boat itself), it was Scott Pionk, Neal's dad, who reeled in the catch of the trip, about a five-foot barracuda that weighed in around 40 to 50 pounds. "Did you see this fish? I mean it was really big," said Patrick Shattenkirk, pulling up the photo on his phone. "It's the biggest fish I've ever seen up close. Look at the teeth on this thing!"

Tweet from @NYRangers: Wow! Scott Pionk with quite the catch on the #NYR Dads fishing trip.

In true hockey form, Scott Pionk was quick to point out that he was just the man who finished the play, that there were plenty of assists to pass around.

"I'm glad I had some help getting it in the boat," Pionk said, adding: "It was a little bit rough out there. Pat Shattenkirk had the Dramamine, and that was a savior because we all needed it."

"I think I saved some guys' lunches," Shattenkirk said.

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Rangers Prospect Report 12.10.18

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

Three Stars of the Week

K'Andre Miller tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including an assist on the game-winning goal, registered six shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 8 against Michigan State. The Rangers' first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded an assist/point in four of the last five games, and he has registered eight points (two goals, six assists) over the span. Miller has tallied 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and has posted a plus-11 rating in 18 games with the University of Wisconsin this season. He was also selected as the Big Ten's First Star of the Week for the week ending on Dec. 2.

Here is how Miller compares to other defensemen selected in the first round at this point of their freshman year in the NCAA:

Miller leads Wisconsin in assists and points, is tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating, and ranks second in shots on goal (45) in 2018-19. He has been on the ice for 21 of Wisconsin's 43 goals which factor into plus/minus rating (even strength goals and shorthanded goals), and he has been on the ice for 30 of Wisconsin's 57 total goals in 2018-19. In addition, Miller is tied for sixth among NCAA defensemen in assists and points this season. He is tied for first among NCAA freshmen in points and is tied for second among NCAA freshmen in assists thus far this season, and he leads NCAA freshman defensemen in both categories. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Miller was selected to the United States' preliminary roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship during the week.

Vitali Kravtsov registered two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating in Traktor's 3-2 overtime win on Dec. 4 against Avangard. The Rangers' first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 33 KHL games this season, including five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five KHL games. Kravtsov has also tallied a point in seven of the last 12 KHL games he has played and has recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over the span. Kravtsov is tied for the team lead in points, ranks second in shots on goal (77), is tied for second in assists, and ranks fourth in goals this season. The 18-year-old leads all KHL players younger than 20 years old in goals, assists, and points in 2018-19. Kravtsov has registered more than twice as many points as any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has this season, and he also has more assists (11) than any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has points (seven) thus far in 2018-19.

Kravtsov was named to Russia's preliminary roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship during the past week. A native of Vladivostok, Russia, Kravtsov has represented his country in several tournaments in recent years, and he served as Russia's captain at the U20 4-Nations Tournament in November.

Igor Shesterkin posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 0.50 GAA, a .978 SV% (44 saves on 45 shots), and 1 SO in two appearances during the week. The Rangers' fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn a win and a shutout on Dec. 4 against Torpedo, and he stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced to earn a win on Dec. 6 against Ak Bars. Shesterkin has posted a 14-3-0 record, along with a 1.30 GAA, a .947 SV%, and 5 SO in 17 KHL appearances with SKA in 2018-19. He ranks third in the KHL in SV%, ranks fourth in the league in GAA, and is tied for fourth in the KHL in shutouts this season. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Shesterkin has posted a 69-9-3 record, along with a 1.59 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 20 SO in 84 KHL appearances. He will represent Russia at the Channel One Cup, which begins this week.

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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Lightning 12.10.18

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /


Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Rangers: 14-12-3 (31 pts)
Lightning: 23-7-1 (47 pts)


The Rangers play their 30th game of the 2018-19 season tonight, Dec. 10, against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 13 of the last 18 games (11-5-2 record), in 16 of the last 24 games (13-8-3 record), and in 17 of the last 26 games (14-9-3 record).


  • All-Time: 48-38-5-7 (26-18-2-4 at home; 22-20-3-3 on the road)
  • 2018-19: Tonight's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Lightning, and the only meeting between the two teams at Tampa Bay. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Lightning will face each other on the following dates: Feb. 2 (at MSG), Feb. 27 (at MSG). The Blueshirts' game against Tampa Bay on Feb. 2, 2019 at MSG will be the 100th all-time regular season meeting between the two teams.
  • 2017-18: The Rangers posted a 1-2-0 record (0-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by two or fewer goals. Kevin Hayes tied for the team lead with three points (one goal, two assists) in the season series, while Chris Kreider led the Rangers with two goals in the three contests.
  • The Rangers have won five of their last eight games against Tampa Bay, dating back to Dec. 30, 2015 (5-3-0 record over the span).
  • Eight of the last 14 meetings between the Rangers and Lightning have been decided by one goal (dating back to Dec. 29, 2013).
  • Brian Leetch is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played (49), assists (33), and points (43) against the Lightning. Adam Graves is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against Tampa Bay (14). Mark Messier ranks second in career goals (12), assists (22), and points (34) by a Ranger against the Lightning.
  • Henrik Lundqvist is the Blueshirts' all-time leader in appearances (40) and wins (20) against Tampa Bay.
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Preview: Rangers Clash With Lightning in Road Trip Finale

by Michael Obernauer /

MSG, 98.7 FM

TAMPA - RangersTown turned out by the thousands on Saturday night in Sunrise, none happier or more proud than the players' dads who filled a suite to watch their sons open up a road trip with a victory. So the Blueshirts know what kind of traveling support they'll have when they face one of their stiffest tests yet this season.

The Rangers returned from a five-day layoff with a shootout victory over the Panthers on Saturday night, and on Monday will look to complete a perfect Dads' Trip 2018. They'll have to raise their level to do so, because Monday's opponent is the 23-7-1 Tampa Bay Lightning, who lead the NHL with 47 points and have won six straight games coming in, the latest a 7-1 dismantling on Saturday night of the then-Western Conference co-leading Colorado Avalanche.

"It will be a challenge, that's for sure," Lundqvist said on Sunday after the Rangers practiced with their dads in the stands at Amalie Arena. "They have a really strong team, probably the best team in the League I think.

"They have extremely good defensemen; their forwards, they can all shoot the puck, they move the puck really well side-to-side. So you can't be locked in on one or two guys, you have to be aware of all five guys out there. Their record speaks for itself. We're going to have to play our best game tomorrow to get two points."

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