GREENBURGH, N.Y. — This is not the way the Rangers wanted to resume their rivalry with the Islanders in their new home on Wednesday.
Center Derek Stepan already is on injured reserve with two broken ribs, and head coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday that defenseman Kevin Klein would miss two to three weeks with a strained abdominal muscle.
Klein had appeared in every game, but left in the first period of Monday’s game against Carolina at Madison Square Garden.
Klein has three goals and six points and is second on the team in plus-minus at 11.
Rookie Dylan McIlrath, who has played six games this season, will dress against the Islanders and on Thursday against the Avalanche. Vigneault said he will carry just six defensemen until the trip to Western Canada next week.
At that time, the Rangers expect to recall both a defenseman and a forward for the three-game swing.
Henrik Lundqvist, who will start in goal on Wednesday, said he didn’t expect any difference in the Islanders just because they had changed homes. “They’re fast, a really skilled team,” he said. “They always come to play.”