The New York Rangers are back in action this afternoon against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Rangers are coming off of a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. On the other hand, the Golden Knights are also coming off a disappointing Friday night loss after going up 3-0 to the New Jersey Devils and eventually losing 5-4 in overtime.
There are a few lineup changes. First, Adam McQuaid is slotting back into the lineup after being sidelined with a core injury. Based on yesterday’s practice, Brendan Smith once again is the odd man out on defense.
Light skate today at Rangers practice. Four guys missing, so no lines to report. All 7 D are practicing though. Smith rotating in with Staal and Pionk suggests he’s the one who’s going to be out tomorrow. Skjei partnering with DeAngelo, Claesson with McQuaid.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) December 15, 2018
Up front there will be some changes as well. Lias Andersson returns after being a healthy scratch against Arizona on Friday, and Boo Nieves who was recalled from Hartford yesterday joins the lineup. Kevin Hayes is a game time decision after colliding into the boards in the third period.
From DQ’s pregame: Kevin Hayes is a game time decision. Lias Andersson is playing. Adam McQuaid is playing. And, Boo Nieves is playing. He won’t say who is out. We’ll have to wait for that.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) December 16, 2018
Along with Hayes, the Rangers were also without Mika Zibanejad, and Matt Beleskey in practice yesterday. If not Hayes, one of them could be missing hence both Nieves and Andersson playing.
#NYR Beleskey, Zibanejad, Hayes and Fast are not skating today - maintenance.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 15, 2018
The Rangers were also without Jesper Fast in practice yesterday, who the team announced will be out two-to-four weeks with an upper body injury. Fast has bounced around the top-nine this season and leaves a hole on the wing. With him out that’s one slot for one of the two centers to fill today. His absence gives both Nieves and Andersson a chance to prove themselves in this lineup over the next few weeks.
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