The New York Rangers quest to find some defense in front of Henrik Lundqvist hit a speed bump on Monday night when the team lost defenseman Kevin Klein during a win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
That absence will be felt for a while, with the team announcing on Tuesday that they are expecting to be without Klein for two-to-three weeks while he nurses a strained oblique.
It hurts the team, because they’ve relied heavily on Lundqvist so far this season to keep their high point percentage rolling along. They’re currently allowing 57.3 shot attempts against per 60 minutes of even strength hockey.
That’s the fourth worst rate in the NHL.
It shows that a huge part of their hot start has been that league-leading .951 team save percentage at even strength thanks to strong play from Lundqvist and back-up Antti Raanta.
#NYR Injury Update: Kevin Klein has a strained oblique and will miss 2-3 weeks of action
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 1, 2015
Their struggles to find solutions have been exemplified in Dan Boyle’s in-and-out of the lineup status and that their best solution when they scratch Boyle has been Dylan McIlrath.
Klein has three goals and three assists through 25 games this season.
Advanced stats via War on Ice.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.