Ryan Lindgren sits out again, but Gerard Gallant confident of his return
BUFFALO — Defenseman Ryan Lindgren sat out again Friday night when the Rangers completed a back-to-back set with a game at KeyBank Center against the Buffalo Sabres.
It was the fifth straight game and 16th in the last 17 that Lindgren has missed, but Rangers coach Gerard Gallant promised Lindgren will play in one of the Blueshirts’ final six games of the season.
“I know he’ll play before the season’s over,’’ Gallant said before the game. “Unless something strange happens between now and then. But no, he’s on track to play soon.’’
It was the most definitive thing Gallant has said about Lindgren since the Minnesota native returned to the lineup March 21 against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden, tweaked his injured left shoulder and sat out the next game.
Lindgren, who was injured in a Feb. 25 game in Washington when Capitals forward T.J. Oshie drove him into the boards, has been practicing and taking part in morning skates for more than a week, but Gallant previously said the team was being “cautious’’ with him. Seventh defenseman Ben Harpur has been filling
in for him.
The Rangers will be off Saturday after playing the back-to-back, and the next game after that will be Sunday afternoon in Washington. The next game after that won’t be until Wednesday, when the Blueshirts host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Notes & quotes: The Sabres started rookie Devon Levi in goal Friday, giving him his NHL debut after he signed with them on March 17 following the conclusion of his junior season at Northeastern. Levi, 21, went 17-12-5 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .933 save percentage for Northeastern this season, leading the NCAA’s Division I in save percentage for the second straight season. He is a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the top goalie in college hockey, an award he won last season. He also is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s best player.