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Matt Harvey attends Rangers game, gets rousing ovation from MSG crowd

Matt Harvey of the Mets attends a game

Matt Harvey of the Mets attends a game between the New York Rangers and the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Matt Harvey made a stop on the way to the World Series. Harvey, who would have pitched NLCS Game 5 for the Mets if it had been necessary, instead was at the Garden on Thursday night watching the Rangers beat the Coyotes, 4-1, from seats behind the Blueshirts' bench.

Harvey was introduced midway through the second period right after the Rangers tied the score at 1. He was given a rousing ovation as he rose and punched his fist in the air.

After the game, coach Alain Vigneault told Harvey, "Good luck. We're with ya!"

Harvey, who is friends with Henrik Lundqvist, arrived midway through the first period. He often attends games, even making a trip to Montreal for a playoff game in 2014.

Derek Stepan, who had a wisdom tooth and two screws removed from his jaw on Wednesday, played 18:40, won 12 of 20 faceoffs and assisted on Keith Yandle's power-play goal. The screws were inserted after his jaw was broken on a hit by Montreal's Brandon Prust in May 2014.

Duclair returnsAnthony Duclair, a key element in the Rangers' trade for Yandle on March 1, played 17:30 in his first game at the Garden. Duclair, who has five goals and two assists this season, had two shots on goal and no points. The trade, Duclair said before the game, "was a big shock for me. When you're a young guy, you don't expect to get traded."

Blue notesThe lavender jerseys that the Rangers wore in warmups and the sticks they used were signed and auctioned online as part of the league's Hockey Fights Cancer program . . . Mats Zuccarello had two assists.


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