The Rangers and their coaches scattered for the Christmas break soon after the 3-2 overtime win against Anaheim on Tuesday. Some, like Swedish rookie Oscar Lindberg, were staying in New York; Lindberg’s parents are visiting. Henrik Lundqvist, who is married with two daughters, was staying in town as well. The next practice is Sunday, and players were looking forward to, as Marc Staal said, “decompress.”
Lundqvist admitted that the last few weeks, when the Blueshirts lost their grip and their confidence and tumbled, going 4-9-2, were “very draining.”
“It’s been a lot of hockey, a lot of games,” he said. “On top of that, we haven’t had the results with us, so of course you analyze, you think a lot. You are pretty tired. I think it’s the perfect time for us to get away from it a little bit and try to come back energized.”
Two players won’t be back when the team regroups on Sunday. Goaltender Magnus Hellberg and defenseman Chris Summers were returned to Hartford on Wednesday, signaling that netminders Antti Raanta (head injury) and at least one of two sidelined blue liners, Kevin Klein (strained oblique) and Dan Girardi (knee), will be ready to play when games resume. The moves gave the Rangers about $1.37 million in salary-cap space.
Hellberg appeared in one game after being brought up last Friday to serve as backup when Raanta was struck in the mask by Marco Scandella’s shot in Minnesota. He relieved Henrik Lundqvist against Washington on Sunday and allowed goals on the first two shots he faced. Summers played in three games after being recalled last Friday. He had five shots on goal, four hits, one blocked shot and was minus-2.
Notes & quotes: In the 2015 calendar year, the Rangers were 27-11-3 at home, but they finish on the road, next Monday in Nashville and next Wednesday in Tampa. The three-game trip concludes in Sunrise, Florida, against the Panthers on Jan. 2. The Rangers have lost seven straight road games . . . Since Tanner Glass was recalled on Dec. 2, he leads the team with 40 hits . . . Defenseman Dan Boyle is playing his best hockey of the season, with seven points (four goals, three assists) in eight games.