43° Good Afternoon
43° Good Afternoon

Dan Boyle's injury forces shuffle of Rangers' lineup

Dan Boyle of the Rangers skates against the

Dan Boyle of the Rangers skates against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

COLUMBUS, Ohio - One win is in the books, but before the Rangers could play a second regular-season game, they found their lineup in flux.

Defenseman Dan Boyle, who suffered a broken hand when he blocked a shot by Jori Lehtera in the third period of the Rangers' 3-2 victory in St. Louis on Thursday night, joined Derek Stepan (fractured fibula) on injured reserve for four to six weeks. That sent ripples through the defense pairings and prompted the call-up of Michael Kostka from the Hartford Wolfpack.

Fourth-line forward Tanner Glass (back tightness) will be a game-time decision when the Rangers face the Blue Jackets Saturday night. If Glass can't play, coach Alain Vigneault said he is leaning toward 6-4 rookie Kevin Hayes to step in alongside of Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast.

Either way, that means Ryan Malone won't play for a second consecutive game.

"I liked his training camp, but I'm not quite sure -- and I was very honest with him -- where he fits in our team picture right now," Vigneault said.

Only the defense pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi will remain intact. Kevin Klein moves up to the second pair with Marc Staal and Matt Hunwick will skate with John Moore, putting two lefties on the third duo. Although Kostka is a righty, he is the spare right now, Vigneault said, and Hunwick will play the right side.

Boyle's spot on the right point of the first power-play unit was assumed by Martin St. Louis as Vigneault considers going with four forwards. Derick Brassard also could see time there.

With four games in six nights, there's also a goalie change: Cam Talbot, 12-6-1 last season, will play Saturday night and Henrik Lundqvist will face Toronto at the Garden on Sunday night, Vigneault said.

Notes & quotes: Matthew Lombardi, 32, who was signed to a two-year, $1.6-million contract as a free agent and cleared waivers Tuesday, declined to report to Hartford and was put on unconditional waivers. "In his one scrimmage and two exhibition games, I just felt that some other players -- our kids -- were a little bit better than he was," Vigneault said. Lombardi, whose history has included injuries and concussions, had a nagging groin issue. Vigneault said that perhaps Lombardi felt he couldn't improve enough to make the team. "He decided to go another route," he said. "I respect that."


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports