The New York Rangers finally start to get healthy welcoming Chris Kreider back to the lineup.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 23, 2018
Kreider has been out since December 28th with a blood clot in his right arm. In his absence, the team has struggled, falling to last place in the Metropolitan Division. During those 24 games, the Rangers have gone 7-16-1, scoring just 55 goals in that span.
This week Kreider began to start making progress practicing with the team. He was medically cleared to play on February 21st, but did not play in the Blueshirts 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.
The timing of this return to the lineup is great considering what is going on around the Rangers. The team just traded Michael Grabner to the crosstown rival Devils. Rick Nash remains out of the lineup as the team continues discussing trades involving him. Against Montreal, the team went with a lineup that you would see in a pre-season game so Kreider’s return is welcomed big time.
Kreider struggled to start the season but found his stride prior to his injury. His 11 goals are tied with Jimmy Vesey for sixth most on the Rangers roster. He led the team in goals a year ago when he found the back of the net 28 times.
The Rangers also announced Friday afternoon that rookie goaltender Alexandar Georgiev would make his second start in a row. Georgiev made 38 saves on 40 shots Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens in his NHL debut.
Going with Georgiev again gives Henrik Lundqvist some time to rest. It also allows for Lundqvist to keep working to find his game after struggling in the month of February. Lundqvist has given up 35 goals in 10 games played this month.
Georgiev and Kreider will look to break the Rangers five-game losing streak.