With three games left in their season, the Rangers will be without star winger Artemi Panarin, as well as two of their top-four defensemen in Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren.
Panarin, who was rag-dolled by Capitals forward Tom Wilson in the second period of Monday’s 6-3 loss to Washington, did not play in nearly the entire second half of the game with what the team called a lower-body injury. Head coach David Quinn confirmed following practice Tuesday that the Rangers’ leading point producer would be out for the remainder of the season.
Quinn also announced Tuesday that Trouba (presumed concussion) and Lindgren (upper body) wouldn’t dress for the last three games either.
Trouba, who was leveled by Islanders winger Matt Martin on April 20, had been out the last seven games. Lindgren missed his second game Monday after colliding with Isles forward Cal Clutterbuck on April 29.
Chris Kreider, who has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, is still considered day-to-day. Quinn didn’t close the door on Kreider getting back into the lineup before the season ends.
The Rangers are turning back to Alexandar Georgiev in goal for Wednesday’s rematch with the Capitals, Quinn said.
Georgiev is set to make his fourth start in the last 10 games. The 25-year-old Bulgarian currently owns an 8-6-2 record with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage this season.
Now that the Rangers are officially eliminated from the playoffs, the team is primed to experience how difficult it is to get motivated for meaningless games.
But with a squad of young players looking for every opportunity to learn and further establish themselves, the Blueshirts don’t plan on taking their foot off the gas. Ryan Strome, a veteran on the team despite being only 27, expects the young players to continue playing like they have something to prove.
“We got a lot of guys with a lot to prove, their spots for next year, there’s always somebody watching, evaluating you,” he said Tuesday after practice. “So these games are definitely hard to play. The last week or so has been tough and a little demoralizing but our job is to go out there and play. I think we got people that pay good money and watch us on TV and love the Rangers, our job is to go out there and put on a good performance. I thought the effort was pretty good [Monday] night, not the results we wanted but hopefully go [out Wednesday] and get a win.”
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