Rangers center Mika Zibanejad is OK after leaving practice a few minutes before it ended Sunday morning when he was hit by rookie defenseman Joey Keane during a one-on-one drill on the second day of training camp.
“He’s fine,’’ coach David Quinn said of Zibanejad. “He actually just got the wind knocked out of him.’’
Zibanejad, who is the team’s No. 1 center, has a history of concussions, including one last season that forced him to miss nine games. He was working against Keane in a puck possession drill at the end of the morning session and took a hit to the head/neck area. He immediately doubled over, and skated slowly to the bench. He spoke to Quinn briefly, and then left the ice. He underwent testing for a concussion and passed, Quinn said. The coach said Zibanejad still could play in Monday’s preseason game against the Devils in Newark, though he was not among the players listed by the team as traveling to the game.
Quinn, who is running his first training camp as Rangers coach, had said Saturday, after the first day of practices, that he believes all games come down to players having to win one-on-one battles. So at Sunday’s practices, all the players had to do one-on-one drills in one of the faceoff circles, where one player tries to protect the puck and the other checks, bumps and does everything he can to try and take it away.
Notes & quotes: With just two days of practice before the first preseason game and just six preseason games, Quinn doesn’t have a ton of time to evaluate the 52 players in camp. “We have to deal with it,’’ Quinn said. “There’s nothing I can do. I can’t add four (games).’’ . . . Henrik Lundqvist will not play Monday. He will play his first preseason game Wednesday at the Garden against the Flyers. Marek Mazanec and Alexandar Georgiev will be in net against the Devils. Long Island native Rob O’Gara will be in the lineup. The other defensemen will be Marc Staal, Fredrik Claesson, Neal Pionk, Ryan Lindgren and Tony DeAngelo. Cody McLeod, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider, Boo Nieves, Cole Schneider, Michael Lindqvist, Steven Fogarty, Lias Andersson, Ville Meskanen, Pavel Buchnevich and Tim Gettinger will be the forwards.