The Rangers will travel to Western Canada and Colorado for four games without first-line left wing Chris Kreider, who reportedly has a broken bone in his left hand, and team doctors are deciding whether he will undergo surgery.
If an operation is necessary, Kreider, who has 17 goals and 37 points, would miss mid-April postseason games, if the Rangers secure a playoff berth.
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Kreider was injured against Columbus Friday, Alain Vigneault said Wednesday, and played in some pain against the Devils and Coyotes. On Tuesday, a team spokesman would only confirm that Kreider would not play against the Flyers.
The 6-3 Kreider provided a scoring presence that the club needs at even strength and on the power play. Vigneault tried to minimize the impact of Kreider's absence down by the net.
"Yes, we like having one guy on each line going to the net a little more, but each guy has to go there, that's where you score the goals," he said. "It's not easy. If you go in that area, usually you're going to get hacked and whacked, but if you want to score and you want to score on a consistent basis, that's where you've got to go."
Defenseman John Moore, who sustained a concussion on a first-period hit by Columbus' Blake Comeau on Friday, missed his third game. But he was on ice for the morning skate and will make the nine-day trip.
"Didn't really push too hard on the gas," said Moore, who could not provide a timeline for a return. "It feels good to be going in the right direction."
After the hit, he said, "Rammer [trainer Jim Ramsay] recognized something wasn't right . . . I kind of pleaded with him to go back out; in hindsight, that wasn't very smart, and came off the ice. It was a variety of symptoms . . . More than anything, it just didn't feel right. I've played this game long enough to know what normal is. It's the first time I've had that."