New York Rangers, Jesper Fast, NHL
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Injuries have played a major role in the New York Rangers season and now they will be without Jesper Fast for the remainder of the season.

The New York Rangers announced Monday afternoon that Jesper Fast will likely miss the remainder of the season with a groin injury according to Colin Stephenson of Newsday.

Fast suffered a groin strain that will most likely keep him out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. The Rangers have just three games remaining this week against the Devils, Islanders, and Flyers.

Lately, he had been playing on the team’s top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider where he had been excelling. In the 12 games that he had played on that top line, he had scored 12 points, three goals, and nine assists, while continuing to bring his solid play defensively. The team recorded 11 points in those 12 games and moved out of last place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers will miss Fast on their penalty kill. Over the last five years, Fast has emerged as one of the games best penalty killers. This year he had been primarily paired with Kevin Hayes on the penalty kill. Those two have allowed the Rangers to move to sixth in the NHL overall down a man.

With Fast now out for the final three games, the team will move Vladislav Namestnikov to that top line.

The injury to Fast creates a great opportunity for Namestnikov who can finally show the Rangers what type of player he can be playing with their top players. Namestnikov had been playing on the team’s fourth line lately with Pavel Buchnevich.

With Namestnikov taking Fast’s place on the top line, the next question is who will replace Fast in the lineup. David Desharnais, Paul Carey, and Cody McLeod are likely candidates for Fast’s spot. This is unless the team makes a roster move and calls up another young player from Hartford, but that seems unlikely.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.