GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Not overly enthused by parts of the fourth line — and with leading goal-scorer Michael Grabner away for his grandmother’s funeral — the Rangers recalled Marek Hri vik from Hartford to play against the Islanders on Tuesday night in Brooklyn.
“I’m not quite satisfied with some of the different personnel [on the fourth line],” Alain Vigneault said after practice Monday.
Hrivik played five games for the Rangers last season and will replace either Josh Jooris or Oscar Lindberg, Vigneault said. Hrivik had eight goals and nine assists in 20 games for the Wolf Pack and should bring speed and a physical game.
“I had to adjust really quick,” the 25-year-old Slovak winger said of a four-game stretch in which he was called up last February and posted his first NHL point, an assist against the Devils. “It was a pretty good experience. This is the second-best team in the NHL right now, so it’s going to be tough to hop on, but hopefully, it won’t be as hard.”
The Rangers beat the Islanders, 5-3, on opening night at the Garden, but they were 0-1-1 on Atlantic Avenue last season.
Henrik Lundqvist said he likes the local matchup. “They feed off the energy in the building,” he said. “I enjoy it; it’s a little different atmosphere in some buildings. It’s more fun when you feel it matters more to other people.”
Vigneault said he is aware that the Rangers need to get more quality shots. “You can throw pucks at the net all you want — they’re not scoring chances, they’re shots at the net,” he said. “When you’ve got a lane and people in front, you have to take that shot, not look for a better option. But the shots we are creating are of the high-end kind. It’s a balance; you don’t want to take that creativity away.”
Notes & quotes: Pavel Buchnevich, who had an MRI on his back two weeks ago to verify that he did not have any structural problems that caused recurring spasms, skated for the first time with skills coach Mark Ciaccio after practice. Depending on how Buchnevich, who has missed 11 games, responds, he might make the trip to Winnipeg and Chicago. He would practice, not play, Vigneault said.