SUNRISE, Fla. — One week after committing an embarrassing goof that led to a goal by Montreal with 6.4 seconds left in the first period in a 5-2 loss, Brady Skjei was back in the Rangers’ lineup against the Panthers.
“For me, it was great to go back in there and contribute,’’ said Skjei, who was a healthy scratch last Sunday, when the Rangers lost to the Winnipeg Jets, 4-3, in a shootout. “I thought I played a pretty strong game, and I’ve just got to keep building. Like I said yesterday, I can’t get it all back in one game, but I was definitely stronger and helped the team win.’’
Skjei had two shots on goal and an assist in 19:19.
Last Saturday in Montreal, Skjei was back defending against a two-on-one as the first period wound down, with the Canadiens’ Tomas Tatar carrying the puck up the boards. Skjei came over and tripped Tatar, and as Tatar went down and a delayed penalty was called, Skjei stopped skating and turned to the linesman to protest the call. Tatar somehow managed to pass the puck to Shea Weber, who scored on a breakaway to give Montreal a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Skjei said as he was skating back in front of the Rangers’ bench, he heard someone yell “Two!’’ It probably was to let him know it was a two-on-one break, but Skjei said he thought “two’’ meant two seconds left in the period. When he tripped Tatar, he said, he expected the horn to sound immediately, ending the period. It didn’t.
“It’s inexcusable,’’ he said. “Can’t happen. I’ve got to know the time and situation. I should have gotten there with my skating instead of reaching with my stick.
“It won’t happen again,’’ he said. “It’s a learning experience, for sure.’’
Schneider called up
Forward Cole Schneider was called up from Hartford (AHL) just in case Vladislav Namestnikov, coming off concussion protocol, could not play. Schneider warmed up but Namestnikov played (and scored a shorthanded goal in the first period) . . . Mats Zuccarello (groin strain) made the trip but did not play; he’s missed 12 of the last 14 games . . . D Brendan Smith also was scratched.