GREENBURGH, N.Y. - About 14 hours after the Rangers lost their second straight game -- surrendering a 2-0 second-period lead in Saturday's 3-2 defeat in Detroit -- it appeared changes were afoot on the power-play units and the third pair on defense.
Coach Alain Vigneault, who barked expletive-filled instructions about shooting more and going to the net during an intense practice Sunday, said he was still deciding on a lineup for Monday night, when the Rangers (11-10-4, 26 points) host the Penguins (18-6-2, 38 points), who are tied for first place with the Islanders (19-8-0) in the Metro Division.
The lineup will further be determined by the status of left wing Chris Kreider, who was shaken up in a collision with teammate Carl Hagelin and left practice. He was being assessed by trainers afterward and the team provided no updates.
"I believe you've got to trust your players and you got to believe they can do the right thing at the right time, especially when they've done it in the past," Vigneault said. "How long you go with that trust is a matter of feel and experience. For the most part, we're probably going to stay pretty close to what we were doing; I might make some adjustments on the power play."
After an 0-for-7 performance with eight shots on the power play, including two five-on-threes in the third period in Detroit, Vigneault wanted to see Dan Boyle and Ryan McDonagh together and to try to create more net presence.
So the first unit included those defensemen, as well as the regular line of Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis and Kreider. The second unit was the regular line of Rick Nash, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello, with defensemen John Moore and Dan Girardi on the points. Moore also was partnered with Kevin Klein five-on-five, meaning that Matt Hunwick is a likely scratch.
About 30 minutes into Sunday's session, Kreider and Hagelin collided in the corner and Kreider stayed down, wincing, first on his side and then on his knees, with his head down. After a minute or so, he skated off slowly, under his own power and went straight off the ice, meeting trainer Jim Ramsay on the way to the locker room. After practice, Vigneault said Kreider was a little "shaken up."
Kreider appeared dazed. He did not seem to be favoring his legs. More than an hour after the incident, the team said he still was being checked by Ramsay and would not confirm that it was an upper-body injury.
Kreider, who has not scored a goal in 11 games, has four goals and nine assists this season. He had 17 goals and 20 assists in 66 games last season and was 5-8-13 in 15 playoff games.
Notes & quotes: Henrik Lundqvist, who hasn't played since last Monday in a 5-1 home loss to the Lightning, will start . . . Tanner Glass, who has missed five games with the mumps, rotated on fourth-line rushes with J.T. Miller. Vigneault said Glass probably would be ready "if we need him."