As if tonight’s game didn’t have enough storylines.
Rangers’ alternate captain Dan Girardi will be out tonight with an ankle injury. Girardi has an “open wound” on his ankle that needs some healing. According to Sean Hartnett and others he could miss up to two weeks with the injury, but is expected to miss at least a week and a half including today’s tilt at the Garden.
Rangers say defenseman Girardi is expected to miss 10 days to 2 weeks due to an ankle injury. #NYR— Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) February 28, 2017
The Rangers are still without the services of Kevin Klein who has been battling back spasms. Klein has missed the last three games and was a scratch on February 16th against the Islanders. He was originally projected to be back in the rotation on Monday.
With Adam Clendening, the Rangers’ seventh d-man, already in the lineup, the Rangers are calling up Steven Kampfer from the Wolf Pack to fill the hole in the lineup. Kampfer came over from the Panthers earlier in the season in the Dylan McIlrath deal.
AV: Dan Girardi out up to two weeks with open wound in ankle. Steven Kampfer to come up from Hartford #NYR— Jon Lane (@JonLaneNHL) February 28, 2017
Kampfer is a right-handed defender with 22 points in 41 games in Hartford this year. He played one NHL game with the Panthers this year and took four penalty minutes.
The Rangers turning to Kampfer is evidence of the team’s lack of depth on the blue line. After Kampfer the only serviceable defenseman available to the team is prospect Ryan Graves. The 21 year old Graves has six goals and 18 assists in 51 games with the Wolf Pack this year.
What the Rangers look like without Girardi and Klein in the lineup against a team as dangerous as the Capitals will most likely re-affirm what most of us already know; this blue line isn’t good or deep enough to win a Cup.
AV says he's hopeful that Kevin Klein (back spasms) will skate tomorrow. #NYR— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 28, 2017
Kevin Shattenkirk will make his Capitals debut tonight at Madison Square Garden.