After a disappointing loss to end their Western Conference road trip, the Rangers fell short 3-2 in a shootout in Denver, after playing without one of their top defensemen, Ryan McDonagh.
Due to a shoulder/arm injury suffered during Tuesday’s game versus the Vancouver Canucks, McDonagh will be absent, more than likely, until the post-season begins. McDonagh was double-teamed by Alex Burrows and Zach Kassian, after which Burrows followed through with a heavy hit (McDonagh was essentially defenseless). He spoke with reporters about the injury afterwards, and he stated that he was sore and did not have a full range of motion in his shoulder. However, he remains optimistic. The hit he sustained didn’t do any structural damage and should be healed within weeks.
McDonagh plans to rest and do low-impact exercises so he’ll be ready for the playoffs in just two short weeks. He leads the team in average ice time (24:49) and leads the defensemen in points (43). Needless to say, the Rangers’ loss in Denver could have had something to do with his absence. John Moore, who’s been a healthy scratch for the past six games, will take the place of McDonagh for the remainder of the regular season.
The Rangers remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 91 points, only a few points shy of clinching their playoff spot as the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed.