GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Training camp injuries are mounting around the NHL and the Rangers aren't immune.
Center Matthew Lombardi sustained a bad groin injury in practice Sunday morning, said coach Alain Vigneault, and will miss at least the next two pre-season games against the Flyers Monday and Tuesday.
Ryan Malone, who hurt his hip flexor Thursday, has not skated since and won't play Monday or Tuesday either. "Not a chance," Vigneault said, but he believed that Malone could play in one of the final two preseason games Friday and Saturday against the Blackhawks and Devils, respectively.
Along with Derek Stepan's broken left fibula, which will sideline him for four to six weeks, the three injuries will give youngsters such as Kevin Hayes and Oscar Lindberg an increased opportunity to make the roster.
Hayes, for example, had played mostly center at Boston College, but Vigneault wanted to give him a look at right wing. But Hayes and possibly Lindberg could be back at center Monday at Madison Square Garden, Vigneault said. And 19-year-old left wing Anthony Duclair, who has impressed with speed and poise, could get a maximum nine-game look at the beginning of the regular season before being returned to his junior club, the Quebec Remparts, without penalty.
If J.T. Miller wasn't already assured of a roster spot after his two strong games, the injury to Lombardi appears to solidify it. It also complicates Vigneault's decision-making when veterans who are trying to play their way onto the team go down with injuries.
"It definitely does," he said. "Both of those guys [Lombardi and Malone] are coming in here on contracts, there's opportunity here but they've got to play to get the opportunity. They're both hurt. We need to get a read on them and we need to get a read on them real quick."
Both Lombardi, who signed a two-year contract worth $1.6 million, and Malone, who signed a one-year, two-way deal worth $700,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL, would have to clear waivers to be assigned to Hartford.
Notes & quotes: Henrik Lundqvist is scheduled to play the entire game on Monday; backup Cam Talbot will play the full game in Philadelphia on Tuesday.