Zibanejad is back, Raanta out for 7-10 days

It looks like goaltender Antti Raanta will miss the five remaining games before the 2017 All-Star Weekend with a lower-body injury. Raanta left Saturday’s game against the Canadiens after the first period. He was clearly in some discomfort when talking to trainer Jim Ramsay towards the end of the first.

Without Raanta available to the team the Rangers have called up Magnus Hellberg from Hartford. Hellberg is 6’5” and 25-years-old and has a .905 save percentage and a 2.91 goals against average this year with the Wolf Pack.

But the Rangers have also received some good news regarding young center Mika Zibanejad.

“He’s going to play tomorrow,” Alain Vigneault told the media after today’s practice.

Tomorrow will be Zibanejad’s first game back in the lineup since breaking his leg on November 20th. His return to active duty immediately makes the Rangers a deeper and more dangerous team, especially on the power play.

In his first 19 games with the Rangers Zibanejad had 15 points including five power play assists.

Marc Staal’s continued absence means that we will continue to see Adam Clendening on the ice. Clendening has two penalties, nine shots and three points in the four games he has played since returning to the Rangers’ lineup.

Matt Puempel is expected to skate with the team on Wednesday. He and Staal skated on their own before today’s practice. Puempel and Staal are both battling concussions.