Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh missed his third straight game Friday night but is progressing in his recovery from a concussion.
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McDonagh, who was KO’d by a sucker punch from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds last Saturday, skated in a track suit and helmet and took some shots at the empty nets for about 10 minutes before the Rangers held their morning skate at Madison Square Garden.
The captain rode the bike lightly for the last two days while following concussion protocol, coach Alain Vigneault said. He called him day-to-day. “You just hope that as the intensity gets higher, he’s symptom-free, that’s the key,’’ Vigneault said. “We’ll see how he does tomorrow.”
The news was not as positive for Rick Nash, who was sidelined for the eighth consecutive game with a left leg injury suffered against Carolina on Jan. 22. “Still [has] pain walking. It’s a heavy bone bruise. Going to take some time,” Vigneault said.
After resting during the All-Star break and then missing two games, Nash had tested the leg, skating and stickhandling, but was unable to return.
Nash was injured twice in the third period Jan. 22. On the first shift, he hit a rut, fell awkwardly into the boards and had to be helped off. He later was struck in the leg by Justin Faulk’s shot and left the game for good.
Fund for hockey writer
The Rangers donated $5,000 to a gofundme.com site that has raised more than $30,000 in the last four days for longtime Associated Press hockey reporter Ira Podell, who had surgery for a brain tumor and also suffered a stroke. Writers, friends and fans have contributed funds that will be used to redo his home for wheelchair accessibility and rehabilitation.