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Rangers' Kevin Klein getting closer to returning

Kevin Klein #8 of the New York Rangers

Kevin Klein #8 of the New York Rangers celebrates his game-winning goal at 3:45 of overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

Defenseman Kevin Klein, who missed his 12th game Saturday night with a broken arm, is closer to returning. Klein skated on his own here while the Rangers were on the road for two games and before Saturday morning's skate at the training center in Greenburgh.

Klein has nine goals and 26 points in 65 games and has provided solid defense from the right side in the top four. He will have follow-up X-rays later this week, possibly on Wednesday, a month after the injury, which came when Washington's Alex Ovechkin hit him with a shot.

"If he can play [before the playoffs], he will," coach Alain Vigneault said, "if the docs tell us he's cleared and he can. If they say he'd be better off taking a couple extra days, we'll do that. He's been working real hard on the ice and off the ice. Other than stickhandling right now, which he can't do, he should be all right in the next couple of days."

Sheppard sits again

James Sheppard was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. He will play in the one of the next four games, Vigneault said. The forward, obtained from the Sharks on March 1, has one goal in 11 games. "There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to play," Vigneault said. "We got him for depth and I've liked what I've seen."

Boyle isn't concerned

In his first season with the Rangers, veteran defenseman Dan Boyle isn't happy with his personal stats (nine goals and 19 points in 61 games), but he isn't overly concerned because the Rangers have clinched home ice for at least the first two rounds. "We can see the finish line," Boyle said. "I'd rather be in this position, clinching already, than have the numbers. Some guys have great numbers and their teams won't make it in."


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