New York Rangers Report 12/19/17: Mika Zibanejad on track to return
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers take on the Anaheim Ducks at home tonight as they hope to continue their hot play with the return of Mika Zibanejad.

Zibanejad returns for Ducks game

The Rangers (18-12-3) are back in action tonight, fresh off a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. The team will be trying to extend their five-game winning streak against Pacific Division foes the Ducks (14-12-8).

The Rangers enter play with points in 10 of their last 13 games. They have at least one point in their last four home games (3-0-1) as well at least one in 14 of their last 16 home games (11-2-3).

The Rangers will get a boost as Mika Zibanejad is set to return to the lineup, according to coach Alain Vigneault. The Ducks, however, have not been as lucky, with elite goal scorer and generally obnoxious pest Corey Perry on injured reserve.

The lines from practice yesterday imply that Boo Nieves will be a healthy scratch. This comes as a surprise as he has stepped in and played very solid hockey while Paul Carey has struggled. However, David Desharnais is slotted to take Nieves’ spot on the fourth line, according to Matt Calamia of

Several Rangers spoke to the media, most notably Zibanejad, who talked about returning to the lineup and what he needs to do to keep playing as well as he was before the injury.

Defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei both spoke about building consistency with the defense and turnovers, which has been an issue at times this season. Frank Curto breaks down how turnovers hurt the team against the Senators on Wednesday.

Vigneault spoke to the media after practice about Zibanejad’s impending return and the decision to scratch Nieves.

Rangers gear up for big week

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist spoke about the big week that the team has coming up, playing three games against very good teams, two of whom (Devils and Maple Leafs) are in playoff position and a Ducks team rounding into form after injury issues early in the season.

See Skjei Show at Spectacular

Brady Skjei had a busy day, attending the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular after practice.

Winter Classic Update

The rink at Citi Field is coming along, as the team gears up to play the Buffalo Sabres on January 1 at the home of the New York Mets.

Other Rangers News, Stories

  • ESNY’s Dominick Renna debates which of Kevin Hayes or J.T. Miller should be re-signed.
  • ESNY’s Frank Curto recaps last week in his Rangers Weekly segment.
  • The Rangers beat the Bruins on Sunday night, and ESNY’s Dominick Renna broke down the victory.
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