Center Mika Zibanejad, who had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 Rangers victory over the Edmonton Oilers, missed the morning skate and will not play against Winnipeg on Tuesday because of flu-like symptoms, the team said.
The Rangers did not recall a forward from AHL Hartford, so Peter Holland will step into the lineup in place of Zibanejad, who has 19 goals and 15 assists in 57 games this season. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said David Desharnais will elevate from the fourth line into Zibanejad’s spot, in between Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.
Shattenkirk’s return imminent
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has missed 20 games following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, took part in the morning skate Tuesday, and Vigneault said his return to the lineup is close.
“He’s been skating for a while,’’ Vigneault said of Shattenkirk, who had surgery Jan. 22. “He’s coming along. I think him and ‘Rammer’ (Rangers athletic trainer Jim Ramsay) have sort of narrowed down here, a plan for him to play. We’re looking at the next couple weeks, here.’’
Shattenkirk, 29, signed a four-year, $26.6 million contract with the Rangers last summer. He has 5 goals and 18 assists in 46 games. His last game was Jan. 18, a 4-3 win over Buffalo that lifted the Rangers’ record to 24-17-5. The team has gone 6-13-1 since.
Vigneault said he wasn’t certain whether Shattenkirk would be making the trip to Tampa and Florida for the next two games. He originally had been slated to go with the team, but because of the impending snowstorm, the team had decided to fly to Tampa earlier in the day than originally planned, and the coach didn’t know whether that would affect Shattenkirk’s status as far as making the trip.