Dan Girardi rarely misses games, but will be out 10 days to two weeks to allow a wound in his right ankle — suffered on a blocked shot against Anaheim on Feb. 7 — to fully heal.
The defenseman, 32, required stitches and sat two games before returning, then played in seven straight. “There’s still an open wound and doctors feel we probably need to shut him down for around two weeks,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “With all the games we’ve been playing, it’s not getting any better.”
Girardi has played 80 or more regular-season games in eight of the last nine full seasons and 46 of 48 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
With Kevin Klein (back spasms) still out, Steven Kampfer, 28, was recalled from Hartford to dress for Tuesday night’s game. But with Klein improving and Brendan Smith acquired from the Red Wings, Kampfer’s stay is expected to be short.
Klein, who missed his fourth game, skated gingerly at the end of the morning skate, and could be back against the Bruins in Boston on Thursday night. “I’m hoping he’s going to skate [Wednesday],” Vigneault said. “Usually when the trading period passes, guys heal quicker. Pretty easy one, eh?”
With the 23-man roster limit in effect until after Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline, rookie Pavel Buchnevich, a healthy scratch for two games and out with the flu for one, was assigned to Hartford, in part to make room for Smith, said general manager Jeff Gorton. “And Pavel’s got to play, and if he wasn’t going to play tonight, then I think we needed to get him down to Hartford to play some games.”
The Rangers also acquired F Dan Catenacci, 23, who has appeared in 50 games for the AHL Rochester, for D Mat Bodie, who has played parts of three seasons in Hartford. Gorton said Bodie had “asked for a fresh start.”