GREENBURGH — So there was Ryan Lindgren, in a close-quarters three-on-three battle drill, and he had the puck on his stick.
One-half of the Rangers’ top defense pair was facing down teammate and future Hall of Famer Jonathan Quick.
Lindgren lifted a sneaky, clever shot over Quick’s shoulder and in the net.
As Lindgren skated away to celebrate his goal, pumping his arms, teammates shouted and then Vincent Trocheck enveloped the defenseman with a hug.
And all associated with the Rangers breathed a long sigh of relief.
“Really good,” coach Peter Laviolette said after practice Wednesday when asked how it felt to have Lindgren a full participant in the near hourlong session.
Especially considering his health was something of an open, unanswered question as the day began.
Lindgren had been injured in the third period of the Rangers’ shootout win over the Blue Jackets on Sunday after taking a hit from Sean Kuraly. He did not return for the remainder of regulation and the overtime.
Initially, Kuraly was assessed a five-minute major for boarding, but the on-ice officiating crew of Brandon Blandina and Kevin Pollock changed the call to a double minor for boarding and roughing.
During his news conference, Laviolette said “there was something going on through the course of the game with both of those guys,” referencing Lindgren and Kuraly, and thought the major penalty was warranted.
For his part, Kuraly said, “We expect to play hard,” and “It was a physical game I’d say against a good team,” when he was asked about the loss afterward.
The concern from the Rangers after the game was due to the fact that they were already without Lindgren’s defense partner, Adam Fox, because of a lower-body injury, as well as second-line center Filip Chytil (upper body), and goaltender Igor Shesterkin (undisclosed).
And it would be difficult to replace Lindgren for any amount of time. Lindgren’s 24.1 shifts per game rank fourth on the team and his 313 shifts this season are seventh most on the team. He has played 254:15 in 13 games, an average of 19:33 of ice time.
Finally, Lindgren’s 17 hits and 14 blocked shots are sixth most on the team in each category.
To summarize: He’s a key component to the Rangers, who are in first place in the Metropolitan Division.
“He’s a rugged guy,” Laviolette said of Lindgren Wednesday. “He plays the game hard and it’s really nice to see him not have it go down different roads.”
Laviolette explained that Lindgren, who received maintenance but did not practice Monday, skated on his own Tuesday and “felt great so he just joined back in with the group today, which is nice.”
Notes & quotes: Shesterkin was a full participant in practice, but Laviolette was non-committal when asked if the goalie would be available to play Saturday against the Devils. “It was a good day of practice,” Laviolette said. “He made it through the whole thing so we’ll just go day by day right now.” . . . Chytil did not skate . . . Trocheck entered Wednesday with the highest faceoff win percentage at 64.4% in the NHL. The Sharks’ Nico Sturm (63.5%) was second, followed by the Devils’ Michael McLeod (62.0%) . . . The Rangers will be off Thursday before reconvening Friday for practice.