One injury problem looks to be solved for the Rangers.
After he missed nearly two weeks with a suspected concussion, Filip Chytil said following practice Saturday that he feels ready to play on Sunday against the Red Wings.
“We would all like to make sure I’m ready and did what I could today,” Chytil said. “Can’t wait for tomorrow’s game.”
Chytil, who missed six straight games, participated in practice ahead of the loss to the Bruins on Thursday, but continued to sit. He seemed to be on his way back last week when he participated in practice, but he left the ice early after suffering a setback.
Rangers coach Gerard Gallant was not as committal as Chytil with regard to playing tomorrow. The coach sounded optimism, however, saying Chytil looked good in practice.
“He’s a huge part of our team,” Gallant said. “Fil’s a big part of our group, and we really miss him when he’s out, so obviously it makes a big difference in your top nine for sure.”
After breaking out during the Rangers’ playoff run last season, Chytil started the season well with two goals and an assist in his first six games. That further cemented him as the team’s third center, a spot he earned beyond doubt in the spring.
On Saturday, Chytil skated between Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow on the third line, a departure from what the Rangers had gone with prior to his injury, when he played with Goodrow and Sammy Blais.
“I can improve, because we’re not perfect,” Chytil said. “Of course I have to work on almost everything right now, but how I started, I was happy about it. I got a little pause right now for a couple weeks, but yeah, can’t wait for tomorrow. Can’t wait to get back.”
Jacob Trouba (maintenance) missed practice. Vitali Kravtsov (upper body) practiced, but wore a yellow non-contact jersey. Ryan Lindgren (upper body) didn’t practice and is doubtful for Sunday.
With Trouba and Lindgren missing, Ryan Reaves played the role of emergency defenseman. It looked as though Reaves would be the odd-man out on the fourth line, which also consisted of Blais, Ryan Carpenter and Julien Gauthier.