New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei is set to return to the lineup following a one-game absence due to a lower-body injury.
The defenseman could have laced up the skates had this been a game with playoff implications. But with the team looking more like it won’t make the postseason, they decided to keep Skjei out of Sunday’s game against the Penguins.
“Just off balance and tweaked something,” Skjei said to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. “But it’s felt better every day, and today on the ice felt really good.”
The defenseman was one of only eight Rangers who participated in Monday’s optional practice. Skjei was able to do some of the skating drills with no issues.
Skjei was injured in Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres when Jason Pominville slid into his right leg/knee during the second period. He didn’t return to the game.
Defenseman Fredrik Claesson was one of eight players who took advantage of the optional morning skate in Carolina on Monday. The other seven were Skjei, Boo Nieves, Connor Brickley, Filip Chytil, Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad, and Henrik Lundqvist.
Head coach David Quinn didn’t speak with the media so there is no update on Neal Pionk. The defenseman took a high-stick to the eye from Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Additionally, there’s no word on Jesper fast who missed the game after coming down with the flu.
With the trade deadline on Mon. Feb. 25, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes still continue to play with the team. The Rangers duo has been involved in trade speculation, but as of Monday night, no trades have been made.