Dan Girardi, who did not play Nov. 6 in the second game of a back-to-back, played Sunday night against the Oilers in the Rangers’ second game of a back-to-back.
Coach Alain Vigneault had said the veteran defenseman might be rested in the second half of back-to-backs as a preventive measure because he missed three games with a groin strain in October and because of the busy schedule.
“With a few days off, and with the minutes [17:54] he played [Saturday night], we didn’t think there was any concern,” Vigneault said.
Girardi scored a goal and blocked four shots in 20:41 against the Oilers.
After Saturday night’s game, Girardi said he would do whatever Vigneault decided. “He knows I’m a professional, hardworking player and I want to be in the lineup every night, no matter how I feel,” he said. “ . . . If he lets me know I’m going to take a night off and get some rest, we’ll talk about it then, but I’m feeling good. I’m not getting too hung up on that too much. Whatever he wants, I’ll follow his lead.”
Raanta holds the fort
It was one of the toughest games of the season for Antti Raanta, who earned his fourth victory with a little help. The Oilers were flying and the Rangers were trying to fend them off, blocking 22 shots.
“It’s nice to play when a team is playing like that,” Raanta said. “Everybody knew the Oilers were coming hard and everybody was [emptying] their tanks.
“They gave us a hard fight the last 40 minutes,” he said. “We were trying to keep our shifts short and I was just trying to hold the puck and get whistles here and there [to force a play stoppage].”
Jooris still unavailable
Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich are out with injuries, but Josh Jooris (separated left shoulder) won’t be able to step in Tuesday night, Vigneault said: “He hasn’t had any contact.” Among the possible call-ups is Marek Hrivik, who leads the Hartford Wolf Pack in scoring with six goals and six assists in 13 games.