The New York Rangers are beginning to roll after some big-ticket trade deadline additions but still have been without a notable piece to their defense core. That may change this week, as Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant told reporters today that he would “bet a lot” on defenseman Ryan Lindgren returning to the lineup on Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Lindgren, the normal partner to Adam Fox on the team’s top pair, is widely regarded as the team’s best defensive specialist. The stats back it up, with solid advanced defensive metrics and a team-leading +27 rating. They’ve been without his services for the past three weeks with an upper-body injury, however, forcing depth defender Niko Mikkola into a top-pairing role. He’ll miss his 11th straight game today, but the team is hoping his return this week adds to an already strong stretch of hockey for New York.
- New Jersey Devils team reporter Amanda Stein notes that forward Curtis Lazar will be evaluated for an undisclosed injury upon the conclusion of the team’s road trip this week. A deadline day addition, Lazar left yesterday’s loss to the Florida Panthers with the injury and did not return. Lazar had played just three games in New Jersey after missing time due to work visa complications, and he’s still looking for his first point in his new uniform.
- The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports winger Marcus Foligno will join the Minnesota Wild on their upcoming road trip, signaling a potential return from a lower-body injury that’s held him out of action this week. The news means that Foligno could return to the lineup either Tuesday against New Jersey or Thursday against Philadelphia, a promising development for a Wild team getting hot at the right time. With Marcus Johansson re-emerging as a middle-six force after being acquired from Washington, Foligno could slot back into a more comfortable bottom-six role in his return.