PITTSBURGH — Is no news good news?
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault provided no medical update on sidelined captain Ryan McDonagh (concussion) or forward Rick Nash (bone bruise), who did not make the trip here.
“I haven’t checked back home today,” Vigneault said before Wednesday’s game. “I’m focused on Pittsburgh and the players we have available.”
McDonagh missed his second straight game since being injured against Philadelphia. Nash was out for the seventh consecutive game.
The Rangers are scheduled to practice Thursday and host the Kings Friday. It’s doubtful that either player will be available against Los Angeles.
Interest in Ehrhoff?
Veteran lefthanded defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, 33, who played for Vigneault in Vancouver in 2009-10 and 2010-11, was placed on waivers by the Kings on Wednesday. The 6-2 blueliner carries an affordable $480,000 cap hit for the rest of the season.
Whether the Rangers make a claim by noon Thursday depends on several factors: The status of McDonagh, the evaluation of Raphael Diaz and Brady Skjei in Hartford, and if Ehrhoff (2-9-11 in 40 games) makes it up through waivers to the Blueshirts, who rank seventh in the league.
J.T. Miller, who has nine goals in his past 10 games, drew praise from former Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan, now running the Penguins: “He’s obviously a very good player, real good hockey sense. He protects pucks well, he can shoot the puck, and I think as he’s maturing he’s figuring out how to be successful in this league. He obviously has the hot hand right now.” . . . Henrik Lundqvist, who has appeared in 45 games this season, tied Mike Richter for the most appearances by a goaltender in Rangers history with 666 . . . Evgeni Malkin (lower body injury), who is second on the Penguins in scoring (23-26-49), missed his fourth straight game with an injury.