After missing seven games with a broken left thumb, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is dressing against Anaheim at Madison Square Garden. Callahan, who broke the finger blocking a shot in Washington on Oct. 16, was scheduled to be out three to four weeks, but he was cleared Sunday.
Doctors believed that waiting an extra 48 hours would not make a difference.
The right wing, who sat out opening night in Phoenix while rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery, scored twice against the Blues the night before the Capitals game, and also netted a goal against the Capitals. He played 22:06 and was injured on his last shift.
“The last couple days of shooting, it’s reacted well,” Callahan said after a morning practice at Madison Square Garden, “so Wednesday’s three weeks and that’s what we were aiming at. I’m ready to go. “
Callahan said he didn’t think he was starting from square one again, as he did at the start of the season. “When I first came back I had no preseason games under my belt, it was my first game since the playoffs. I’ve already had a taste of it this year, I’ve only missed about two weeks, so I feel like I’m ahead of the game. You take the first hit or get hits, and you’re back in it.”
Teammates were pleased to learn that Callahan was ready to face the Ducks, who throttled the Rangers 6-0 back on Oct. 10.
“It was a setback he didn’t want,” said Carl Hagelin. “In the last few practices, he looked really good, so we’re excited to have him back. He’s the kind of player who brings it every night.”
Callahan played 17:46 in the rout in Anaheim, with five shots and three hits, but was a minus-2. “I feel like we’re a lot different team. The last time we played, it was an embarrassing game for us,” he said today. “We weren’t good enough, it’s that simple. They’re one of the top teams in the league and they’re playing well. It’ll be a good challenge for us.”
It appeared likely that J.T. Miller, who head coach Alain Vigneault said had a "tough game" against Carolina and was demoted to the fourth line, would be a healthy scratch and Brandon Mashinter, would dress for the third consecutive game.
Rick Nash (concussion) will miss his 11th game, and Dominic Moore (strained oblique muscle) will miss his third.