Pavel Buchnevich back in MSG for first time since trade
Pavel Buchnevich returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time since he was traded to the St. Louis Blues over the summer, but it wasn’t a happy return for the 26-year-old, whose new team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-3 loss to the Rangers.
Buchnevich, who had spent his first five seasons with the Rangers, played 18:51 in the game, and had five shots on goal. But he was thwarted on a breakaway by his old friend, Igor Shesterkin, in the second period. And he was on the ice for two even-strength goals against, plus the game-winning power play goal by his longtime linemate, Chris Kreider.
"We were joking because one of our first shifts, Mika [Zibanejad] tried to hit me back door, and [Buchnevich] almost tipped it in,’’ Kreider said. "We were saying the chemistry was still alive. But yeah, I mean, it's always weird, especially the first time. When you've played with a guy for a long time, seeing him in another jersey, have him on the other side — I don't know it's definitely strange.’’
Injured Rooney out after first period
Rangers forward Kevin Rooney left the game with what the team said was an upper body injury. Rooney had gotten clipped in the face with a high stick from Vladimir Tarasenko while killing a penalty in the first period. He finished the period but did not return. Coach Gerard Gallant said he did not have an update on Rooney’s status.
Chytil, Nemeth return to lineup
Filip Chytil and Patrik Nemeth returned to the Rangers lineup. Chytil missed three games, the first, officially, because he had a non-COVID-19 illness, and the last two as a healthy scratch.
Nemeth also missed three games, around the birth of his son on Friday. However, he actually had missed 10 of the last 11 games, his only appearance during that time being the Feb. 20 game in Ottawa against the Senators.
Forwards Morgan Barron and Jonny Brodzinski and D Libor Hajek were the Rangers’ scratches . . . Former goaltender Henrik Lundqvist celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday.