Kevin Shattenkirk needs to play with a little more urgency, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
The defenseman hadn’t scored in 19 games, and Vigneault said that although there was an adjustment period for the free-agent acquisition, he’s got to pick it up.
“I do think Shatty has got more in him than what we’re seeing now,” Vigneault said Saturday. “I feel he can skate better, going back for pucks a little bit quicker and finding the available outlet. If we get that part of his game a little more consistent, I think everything else will be fine. He’s been better as far as closing the gap and making the right reads defensively, but I do think offensively there’s more there. His confidence might not be at his highest point. He’ll be the first one to tell you he’s not making those usual passes He’s been working hard, he’s got the right attitude and he’s only going to get better.”
Shattenkirk’s frustration became evident in the second period Saturday night. He needlessly elbowed Toronto’s Leo Komarov in the head in the offensive zone with 7:17 left and was shipped off for roughing.
Miller dropped to fourth
J.T. Miller was dropped from second-line center to fourth-line winger and David Desharnais took his spot between Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. “I like the way Davey’s been playing,” Vigneault said without further explanation. Miller scored the Rangers’ second goal, assisted by Pavel Buchnevich, at 11:25 of the third.
Jesper Fast sat out the first of what will be a two-to-three- week hiatus with a quadriceps strain. When Fast missed five games at the beginning of the season while recovering from offseason hip surgery, the Rangers were 1-4 . . . Lias Andersson, the No. 7 selection in last June’s draft, was named captain of Team Sweden for the World Junior Championship.