The New York Rangers will enter Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins without defenseman Dan Girardi, coach Alain Vigneault announced Friday.
The coach, when asked if it was a lower-body or upper-body injury, replied that “it’s the whole thing.”
Girardi stopped just short of a disaster in Game 1. He finished the game with a 46.9% CF% (minus-2 C+/-) and a minus-2 rating. An injury would go some of the way toward explaining his struggles in Game 1.
Dan Girardi getting beat to the puck so cleanly is kind of funny to me. pic.twitter.com/nJ2VpCEJq7
— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) April 14, 2016
In addition to Girardi, the Rangers are without captain Ryan McDonagh. That will make their prospective pairings for Game 2 Dylan McIlrath with Keith Yandle, Kevin Klein with Marc Staal, and Dan Boyle with Brady Skjei.
“I feel ready,” McIlrath said Friday. “I’m very excited. Obviously I don’t know what the lineup will be but I’m just ready.”
McDonagh’s absence continues to hurt, but the absence of Girardi and re-jiggered defensive pairings may be a blessing in disguise. They will need to figure out an answer defensively to the Pittsburgh attack, particularly because center Evgeni Malkin may return for Pittsburgh in Game 2.
In other Rangers injury news, Henrik Lundqvist, who was injured in Game 1, practiced Friday. His availability for Saturday’s game is unknown, but participating in a full practice Friday is a good sign for the team.
#NYR Update: AV says that @hlundqvist30 is game time decision tomorrow and that Dan Girardi is hurt, will not play
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 15, 2016
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.