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Filip Chytil will return to the lineup tonight

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Chytil returns, Shesterkin will start, and Kakko is coming off the COVID list

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images

New York Rangers center Filip Chytil will be back in the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres after missing 14 games. The 21st pick of the 2017 Draft has been out of the lineup since he was on the receiving end of a big hit on Jan. 24 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Yesterday, he was considered a game-time decision.

Chytil had two goals and an assist in the first five games of the season before a hand injury sidelined him. He also had outstanding underlying numbers despite seeing limited ice time. The Czech center returned to practice last Thursday and was considered day-to-day but was ruled for the Rangers’ most recent tilt against the Boston Bruins.

Chytil is expected to be on a line with Julien Gauthier and Kevin Rooney and could be playing on the wing if he’s unable to take faceoffs, per Dan Rosen. The Rangers have sorely missed his presence down the middle, especially with Mika Zibanejad’s struggles early this season.

Chytil, 21, scored 14 goals and picked up nine assists in 60 games with the Rangers last year.

In other news, Igor Shesterkin will get the start tonight and Kaapo Kakko is coming off of the COVID list for the second time this season.

The Rangers play the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Sabres are 6-10-3 this season and are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games.