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Rangers' Mika Zibanejad MIA after crashing into boards

The Rangers' Mika Zibanejad leaves the ice with

The Rangers' Mika Zibanejad leaves the ice with an injury late in the third period against the Devils in an NHL game on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Credit: AP/Bruce Bennett

Mika Zibanejad fell and slammed into the boards late in Tuesday night’s game when the Rangers were trying to tie the score, and the Blueshirts’ No. 1 center was not on the ice in the final seconds when the team pulled goaltender Igor Shesterkin and was trying to tie the game.

Coach David Quinn did not address Zibanejad’s status after the game.

Shesterkin shines

Shesterkin replaced starter Alexandar Georgiev to begin the third period, after Georgiev allowed four goals on 20 shots. Shesterkin, who started the season opener against the Islanders on Thursday, stopped all eight shots he saw.

Blue shorts

Forward Kevin Rooney missed his second straight game after leaving the season opener in the third period following a collision with the Islanders’ Ross Johnston. Rooney has skated the last two days with the taxi squad . . . . The Devils are the second-youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 26.1 years. The Rangers are the youngest team in the NHL, with an average age of 25.5 years . . . Quinn said he didn’t challenge Miles Wood’s kicked-in goal because he didn’t think he would win. He did challenge PK Subban’s goal alleging offside. And he won that challenge . . . When they needed him to play the wing last season, Brendan Smith was not bad at it, albeit in a fourth-line position. And when they needed him to return to defense full time, after Brady Skjei was dealt away at the trade deadline, Smith was fine in that role, too. And when Quinn put him in the lineup Saturday, replacing Tony DeAngelo for what was supposed to be a short-term stint, Smith played so well that Quinn couldn’t take him out of the lineup for the Devils game. "I want to be in the lineup every night, but if that’s what’s happening, you’ve got to stay sharp,’’ Smith said. "And I’m going .to continue to do that, and try to make it hard for them to take me out of the lineup.’’

New York Sports