Center David Desharnais, who was a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game in favor of Boo Nieves, could be back in the lineup on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Nieves — who essentially had edged Desharnais to street clothes in taking over the fourth-line center role — played only 3:10 in seven shifts in the Rangers’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Red Wings on Friday night before leaving early in the second period with a lower-body injury. He did not return. Nieves grabbed his left hip after a faceoff midway through the first period. He had delivered two hits and won three of five faceoffs.
Unless the Rangers make a call-up from Hartford, Desharnais, 31, a free agent who was signed to a one-year deal and is 2-6-8 in 20 games, will dress. He has not played well defensively recently.
Nieves, 23, was playing his sixth straight game since recovering from the flu, which sidelined him for three games. Since posting three assists in his first game of the season on Oct. 23 against the Arizona Coyotes, Nieves hadn’t produced any points but was adjusting to the NHL. In his previous five games, he had won 54 percent of his faceoffs.
Wings lose Daley
The Red Wings also went down a man early. With 7:55 left in the first period, defenseman Trevor Daley left for the trainer’s room after appearing to injure his shoulder on an attempted mid-ice check. He was in pain while lying on his back and did not return after being helped off. Fortunately for the Wings, they had dressed seven defensemen.
The Rangers will practice outdoors next Saturday at Central Park’s Lasker Rink for the first time in at least 30 years. They have skated at Wollman Rink in the past . . . Their blue jerseys for the Winter Classic against the Sabres at Citi Field on Jan. 1 were unveiled Friday. In a nod to their Original Six heritage, the word “Rangers’’ is diagonal across the front of the sweater.