Rangers lose Kaapo Kakko to upper-body injury

MONTREAL — The lineup obstacles simply hold coming for the Rangers — however they definitely cleared the newest one.

After beginning the night time with out one among their top-six forwards, Ryan Strome, who’s in COVID-19 protocol, the Rangers lost one other when Kaapo Kakko sustained an undisclosed upper-body injury within the first interval of Saturday night time’s 3-1 win over the Canadiens at Bell Center.

Head coach Gerard Gallant didn’t have an instantaneous replace on Kakko, saying the Finnish winger is “day-to-day.”

With Strome out, Filip Chytil was bumped from the third line to heart the 1B unit, between Artemi Panarin and Kakko. The Rangers beforehand had recalled Greg McKegg from Hartford to heart the third line between Sammy Blais and Barclay Goodrow, whereas Dryden Hunt, Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves made up the fourth line.

Kaapo Kakko
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“It’s always tough when you lose a guy like Stromer,” Mika Zibanejad mentioned. “He’s such a smart player and he obviously is a big part with [Artemi Panarin]. That’s tough. And when that happens, you have to have someone step up in that role and I thought everyone contributed. Obviously, losing Kap as well, you never want to lose any players and probably, especially those kind of players. It was a great effort by everyone, really.”

Blais was again within the lineup after lacking the Rangers’ house opener towards the Stars on Thursday with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

“It’s tough when you lose top players during the game, especially top players like Kaapo,” Gallant mentioned. “But that’s part of the game and the guys dug in and dug down and other guys got a little bit more ice time.”

Chris Kreider scored his third objective in as many video games Saturday, taking a feed from Zibanejad and placing it previous Canadiens netminder Jake Allen at 9:59 of the second interval on an influence play.

The 30-year-old winger has three of the Rangers’ six objectives thus far this season.

Chytil logged 21:02 in his first crack at skating within the high six this season. He additionally gained 6-of-11 faceoffs for a 54.5 win proportion from the dots.

“Any time I get a chance, I just play my best game,” Chytil mentioned earlier than the sport. “Just use the minutes for my side and help the team.”

After the win, the Rangers traveled to Toronto and are scheduled to follow Sunday afternoon at Ford Performance Center. On Monday, the Blueshirts will sq. off with the Maple Leafs.

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