DALLAS — Vitali Kravtsov can’t catch a break.
The 22-year-old winger, who had two separate accidents by the Rangers’ first eight video games of the season, slid exhausting into the boards Saturday afternoon and needed to exit the 6-3 win over the Stars at American Airlines Center. Kravtsov received twisted up with Dallas defenseman Jani Hakanpaa whereas going full pace in pursuit of the puck. He was crunched into the boards, seemingly main with his head, and lay nonetheless on the ice for just a few seconds.
“Day-to-day, upper body [injury],” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant stated afterward, as he often does.
The Rangers later clarified that Kravtsov remains to be being evaluated and they need to know extra on Sunday.
In the season-opener earlier this month, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knocked Kravtsov’s head into the boards, sidelining him for the subsequent 4 video games. And after their loss to the Avalanche on Tuesday, Kravtsov suffered another upper-body injury and needed to sit out the sport towards the Islanders on Wednesday.
It’s an unlucky state of affairs for Kravtsov, who remains to be looking for his sport on the NHL stage. That’s extremely exhausting whereas showing in simply 4 of 9 video games, together with the three shifts he took within the first sport towards Tampa Bay.
The Rangers want to search out out what they’ve in Kravtsov, however the slew of accidents hasn’t allowed them to take action.
The Rangers confronted Nils Lundkvist for the primary time since they traded the younger blueliner to Dallas final month. Lundkvist earned the beginning nod towards his former membership and posted three photographs on aim and one hit.
“I watched their last game, and he played well,” Gallant stated earlier than the sport. “I mean, [Miro] Heiskanen was out and he played a lot more minutes the last game. Good, solid young player. Just like everybody thought he was. He’s got some skills, he’s got some talent.”
Lundkvist skated on the Stars’ prime pair, alongside Ryan Suter, within the wake of Hesikanen’s absence.
Ryan Reaves was scratched for the primary time this season in favor of Julien Gauthier, who was just lately recalled for AHL Hartford amid accidents to Filip Chytil (higher physique) and Kravtsov (higher physique). After sitting out towards the Islanders, Kravtsov was again within the lineup Saturday, skating on the correct wing of the third line, subsequent to Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow, earlier than he exited with another injury.
Chytil, who didn’t make this journey with the Rangers, missed a 3rd straight sport with a suspected concussion.
Zac Jones was again within the Rangers’ lineup after serving as a wholesome scratch the earlier two video games. The 22-year-old defenseman changed Libor Hajek on the left facet of the underside pair subsequent to Braden Schneider.
“We’ve got our regular crew of defensemen that play every game and those two guys are basically battling for that spot,” Gallant stated earlier than the Rangers confronted the Islanders on Wednesday. “You’re not going to sit one guy, like Libor sat a lot of games last year. It’s not going to happen [again]. He plays well, he’s going to get a chance to play.”