Mika Zibanejad will return to the New York Rangers’ lineup tomorrow night vs. the Carolina Hurricanes, barring a last minute setback, and he’ll be reunited on a line with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.
Mika is good to go. DQ confirms he’ll play with Kreider and Buch. He also said centers will be Mika, Strome, Chytil and Howden. Order is TBD. #NYR— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) November 26, 2019
The Rangers’ alternate captain was off to a rip-roaring start with 11 points in nine games, and was injured on October 27 vs. the Boston Bruins.
Here's two angles on the hit Zibanejad took in the first (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GMe4xVy5UB— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) October 28, 2019
At the time it was said that Zibanejad was dealing with a neck injury, but when speaking with reporters Monday he alluded to his injury being a concussion.
I asked Mika if he could tell us what the injury was. He declined.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinSNewsday) November 25, 2019
"I don't want to go into details, but I think you guys can figure out -- it was an upper body, so, I'm not going to go into more details than that.''
Zibanejad is expected to center a line with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich, and the only other known line involves Ryan Strome and Artemiy Panarin. Filip Chytil and Brett Howden will center the Blueshirts’ remaining lines, but David Quinn didn’t want to give the Carolina Hurricanes any additional information.
DQ did say he's keeping Chytil and Howden at center, presumably on the 3rd and 4th lines.— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) November 26, 2019
Kakko could be an option for RW on the 2nd line, but he was on the 3rd with Lemieux at LW today. Seems more likely that Fast stays with Panarin and Strome, but we'll see.#NYR https://t.co/b2ruml80Fk
Zibanejad’s return to the lineup makes the Rangers a stronger team overall, and it will be interesting to see how many minutes he gets on Wednesday evening. After playing the Canes, the Rangers are off on Thursday for Thanksgiving, and will return to action on Friday afternoon in a matinee vs. the Bruins in Boston.