GREENBURGH, N.Y. — With first-line center Mika Zibanejad, goalie Henrik Lundqvist and wing Jesper Fast all missing practice Monday for the Rangers, and coach David Quinn saying Zibanejad’s status for Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is uncertain, the Rangers called up center Filip Chytil and defenseman Ryan Lindgren from AHL Hartford.
Because the Rangers had only 21 players on their roster — two below the NHL’s 23-man limit — they didn’t have to place anyone on injured reserve or make any other kind of roster move.
Chytil, 20, who failed to earn the No. 2 center position behind Zibanejad in training camp, has played well for Hartford, putting up nine points (three goals, six assists) in nine games, which is tied with Vinni Lettieri and Danny O’Regan for the team lead. His plus-9 is the top plus/minus figure among forwards in the AHL.
“Filip’s had a real good year down there,’’ Quinn said.
Lindgren, 21, also has started strongly at Hartford. He has one goal and one assist and is plus-8 in nine games.
Quinn said Chytil has played well beyond just putting up good statistics.
“That’s the thing we feel good about,’’ he said. “I used to say this an awful lot when I was coaching in the American League to our teams: If you look at the leading scorers in the American Hockey League over the last five to six years, you see a lot of the same names. Going down there, just getting points doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna have a chance to get here [to the NHL] and have success.
“So one of the things we liked about what Fil has done, he’s gone down there and has been productive offensively, but he’s also done the things that he needs to do to have success at this level.’’
As for the players who missed practice, Quinn said Lundqvist, who took the day off because of upper-body soreness after checking the Bruins’ David Pastrnak on Sunday, and Fast (personal reasons) should be available Tuesday when the Rangers close out their five-game homestand. Zibanejad, who left Sunday’s 7-4 loss to Boston after taking a high hit, is “better’’ but remains “day-to-day.’’ Said Quinn, “We’ll know more tomorrow.’’
Notes & quotes: Alexandar Georgiev will start in goal, Quinn said . . . Rookie Kaapo Kakko worked with the first power-play unit at practice, replacing Pavel Buchnevich, who dropped to the second unit. Ryan Strome took Zibanejad’s spot on the first unit . . . Quinn said his friendship with Kevin Shattenkirk has survived the Rangers’ decision to buy out the defenseman over the summer. Shattenkirk signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay and has four goals and three assists in 10 games. “Things are good,’’ Quinn said. “We had a long lunch before he left; we’ve had a few text messages beforehand. Obviously, it was tough for both of us. I’m not saying everything’s perfect, but he knows how I feel about him as a player and a person.”