The New York Rangers announced that forward Jesper Fast will miss the next two-to-three weeks with a quad strain.
The New York Rangers penalty kill group just took a major hit. The team announced on Twitter that defensive specialist Jesper Fast will miss two-to-three weeks with a strained quad.
OFFICIAL: #NYR Jesper Fast suffered a quad strain last night at NJ and will be sidelined for 2 to 3 weeks.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 22, 2017
The Swedish winger has seven goals and 16 points in 30 games this season. He has played mostly on the third line and is one of the most trusted penalty killers on the team. Fast missed the first five games of the season recovering from offseason hip surgery. He had been on a bit of a hot streak, with three goals in his last four games.
There is a bright side in the timing of this injury, as the team has a three-day break for the holidays after their game Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They also have their bye week from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12, which would be the third week of his recovery should he not return earlier. So Fast will not miss as many games with this injury as he normally would with an injury that would take two-to-three weeks to recovery timeline.
time line makes him doubtful to play in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, which is only a week and a half after the injury was suffered. While that would be an early return, it should be noted that he did return early from his hip surgery.
The Rangers have been forced to change their lines with the injury to Fast. Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reported on twitter that the bottom three lines all changed while the top line of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich remain together.
With Fast out, lines:
Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich, Grabner-Hayes-Vesey, Nash-Desharnais-Zuccarello, Carey-Nieves-Miller. https://t.co/sXHd0QoStH
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) December 22, 2017
Fast was spending most of his time with Rick Nash and J.T. Miller on the third line. That line has been broken up, with Nash staying on the third line, but with David Desharnais and Mats Zuccarello, while Miller returns to the wing, playing on the fourth line with Paul Carey and Boo Nieves.