BOSTON — Michael Grabner, who leads the Rangers with 26 goals, sat out Thursday night’s game against the Bruins with an injury. He was termed day-to-day by coach Alain Vigneault.
The Rangers missed the speedy winger, who left practice early on Wednesday with a sore hip after a check from defenseman Adam Clendening.
Pavel Buchnevich was summoned from AHL Hartford on emergency recall after the Russian rookie scored twice, including the game-winner, on Wednesday. He was placed on the second line with center Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash, a combination that Vigneault hadn’t tried. “He played a real strong game the other night,” Vigneault said.
Buchnevich, 21, had not dressed for four games before being re-assigned. He had spent a previous stretch on the fourth line, skating between seven and 11 minutes a game in his last nine appearances. Asked about the possibility of Buchnevich, who was playing his 27th NHL game, staying with the team, Vigneault said: “We’re not there yet.”
With Grabner out and Buchnevich in, Vigneault chose to shuffle lines: Chris Kreider was back with Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello; Jimmy Vesey dropped down to play with Grabner’s linemates, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller, and Matt Puempel, in Jesper Fast’s spot, was with center Oscar Lindberg and Brandon Pirri.
Bruins forward David Backes, who was called for goaltender interference with 2:22 left, effectively denying the opportunity for the Bruins to tie, was not pleased "I don't agree with it," he said. "I think I'm going to the net, trying to avoid contact. He comes up to initiate it and I look at the ref's arm in the air. Obviously, we get the luxury of slow-motion replay, but at that point of the game, it's just frustrating."
Oscar Lindberg, who scored the game-winner, his third goal in six games, said his confidence level was improving.
"I think it's pretty good," he said. "The last couple games we've been playing better hockey and I think the confidence comes with that."
Goalie on goalie
Tuukka Rask on his counterpart, Henrik Lundqvist: "He was making great saves, played a great game. We created a lot of chances and just couldn' t get one by him until the end there. So give credit where credit is due."
The Rangers will host the Canadiens on Saturday before playing the next four on the road against the Lightning, Panthers, Hurricanes and Red Wings. Fast, who is believed to have a separated shoulder, will miss those games. He is projected to be sidelined two to three weeks after a crunching third-period hit from Alex Ovechkin on Tuesday sent him to the trainer’s room . . . On defense, Dan Girardi was out for the second consecutive game and is waiting for a wound on his ankle to heal, a process that Vigneault estimated will take at least 10 days. Kevin Klein (back spasms) missed his fifth game.