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Rangers drop weekend games; Vingeault make lineup changes; Marc Staal injury update

Today's New York Rangers notes.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, folks. We're into our second week of our made-over Monday notes. It was a busy weekend for New York Rangers hockey, so without further ado, your Monday notes.

Three stars of the weekend

Number three: Chris Kreider The Rangers were able to salvage a point from the two weekend games when Kreider's goal with 22 seconds left and the goalie pulled Saturday versus the Devils tied the score.

Number two: Henrik Lundqvist In a weekend with a lot of lows, the King provided some highs. Let's put it this way: In a weekend the Rangers allowed eight goals against, the total could have been much higher if not for the play of Lundqvist.

Number one: Mats Zuccarello The Rangers smallest forward was the team's most active, contributing a goal and an assist in the loss to overtime loss Saturday to the Devils, and constantly making his presence felt by moving his feet and entering the play.

What you missed

In arguably his best sequence of the weekend, Lundqvist makes two fantastic saves on this shorthanded opportunity for Washington, which kept the Rangers deficit at 2-0.

The Rangers just didn't have it Sunday night against the Capitals. An uninspired performance found the Rangers concede three goals in the second period, putting the game out of reach. The Capitals scored two early goals in a span of 25 seconds, and a late goal on a penalty shot, a call that had Alain Vigneault incensed for the second straight night. In the end, a late Rangers goal didn't mean much, as New York fell to Washington 4-1. [Blueshirt Banter] [ESPN NY] [NY Post] [Daily News] [The Record] [Newsday] [Blueshirts United]

In a swap of minor leaguers, the Rangers sent Brandon Mashinter to the Blackhawks for Kyle Beach. [Blueshirt Banter] While Mashinter has made a living in the NHL dropping the gloves, Beach, who is no stranger to that part of the game, was the 11th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, while he has yet to appear in an NHL game.

In other team news, the Rangers recalled J.T. Miller from Hartford, and the 20-year-old prospect who's been up-and-down within the organization played both games this weekend. [Blueshirt Banter]

Miller was in the lineup instead of Benoit Pouliot, who has looked absolutely lost at times this season, and then Dominic Moore. It's tough to peg how this lineup wrinkle will shake out in the coming weeks, but Miller certainly is being given another chance to take a roster spot and run with it. [Newsday]

Bigger than any result on the scoreboard this weekend is the loss of Marc Staal, who suffered what was termed an "upper body injury," but it's pretty clear Staal is being evaluated for a possible concussion. With Staal having already missed extended time earlier in his career due to a concussion, the situation is being monitored closely, according to VIgneault, who said Staal is being treated for neck issues before Sunday's game. [Blueshirts Blog] [ESPN NY] [NY Post]

For Staal, it's be an unfair and cruel spell of injuries that have hampered the defenseman's career. [NY Post]

Derek Dorsett has also continued to miss time for the Rangers, as he's been sidelined with a sprained wrist. [Rangers Rants]

It's weird to think of him as a "rookie," but Chris Kreider is, so here as his Calder Trophy credentials. [BlueshirtBanter]

Vigneault needs to give his top players more minutes, writes Larry Brooks. [NY Post]

After the Rangers were on the wrong side of a controversial upheld goal call Saturday versus the Devils, Vigneault found a unique way in the postgame to voice his opinion of the call. [ESPN NY]

As the Rangers have flirted with the .500 mark all season, the team is looking to drop the mediocre label. [NY Post]

Ever wonder what it looks like when MSG changes over from basketball to hockey? Video here. [NHL]

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