Rangers Practice Report: Kevin Hayes expected to return tomorrow, Staal misses practice with the flu

Bobby Bevilacqua

kevin hayes skating 10-3.jpg

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers kicked off their four game homestand yesterday with a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, getting goals from Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast. They skated today ahead of their matchup against Anaheim tomorrow in search of their third straight win.

Kevin Hayes participated in the full practice today and Alain Vigneault said that barring something in the morning skate, Hayes will rejoin the lineup.

Through 47 games this season Hayes has scored 35 points, and is just 10 points behind tying his career high of 45 set in his rookie season. His last game was Jan. 22 and he had been playing well at the time, with four points in four games. He’s been pretty consistent with his production overall, with 12 points (2-10-12) in the last 11 games he had played prior to his injury.

His re-joining the lineup means that JT Miller can switch back to the wing, where he has played better in his NHL career. Miller did an outstanding job filling in for Hayes as third line center, with six assists in the five games that he missed. But having the creative and skillful Hayes back at center, with Miller and Grabner on his wings creates that deadly three line attack the Rangers use to their advantage.

Marc Staal was the lone absentee from practice today as he was sent home with flu like symptoms. Alain VIgneault said he’s uncertain if Staal would play, but I’m going to guess that he will not. That means Adam Clendening would be inserted back into the lineup.

Here’s the projected lineup for tomorrow against the Ducks:

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner

Pavel Buchnevich-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Nick Holden-Kevin Klein

Brady Skjei-Adam Clendening

Henrik Lundqvist

Posted on February 6, 2017, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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