Dan Girardi, who struck his head against the boards after being hit by Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle late in Tuesday night’s game, did not play Thursday night and might not dress in the regular-season finale against Detroit on Saturday.
The veteran defenseman was dazed and was escorted off the ice. Coach Alain Vigneault said he is considered day-to-day, adding: “We’ll see how he feels .’’
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Without Girardi, who has two goals and 15 assists and is a plus-18 in 74 games, and captain Ryan McDonagh, out indefinitely with what is believed to be a small fracture of his right hand, the Rangers deployed all of their available defensemen against the Islanders, including Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei.
Jesper Fast, the 24-year-old Swedish winger in his third season, won the annual Players’ Player Award, as voted by his teammates. “I’m very proud,” he said. “It’s nice to know the players appreciate me.” His English has improved, he said, and noted that he feels “a lot more comfortable in the room because I’ve been able to talk a little more.”
Vigneault called Fast “a player we can use on any line, and that line seems to play well. He’s probably, if not one of the hardest workers, the hardest worker on our team, and his teammates know that.”
Henrik Lundqvist, who has won 35 games, was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the eighth time, a franchise record.
“A lot of guys are having really strong years point-wise, so I’m grateful,’’ he said.
Members of the local media have presented the award since the 1941-42 season.
In fan voting, Mats Zuccarello won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award for the second time in three years. Cam Talbot won last season.