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Latest News : Brady Skjei, Rangers fall to acquainted faces on Lightning, 5-3
TAMPA — Ryan McDonagh was a mentor for Brady Skjei, who grew up roughly 30 minutes from McDonagh within the Twin Cities space and with whom he labored out throughout the offseason. Their paths are parallel in that they play the identical place, went to school for 3 years and hung out in Hartford earlier than making their NHL debuts as Rangers.
It was arduous for a lot of within the Rangers’ locker room to see McDonagh traded to the Lightning on the deadline, however Skjei particularly misplaced somebody he’s leaned on all through his professional profession.
“It was actually arduous to see him go for me personally,” Skjei instructed the Day by day News Thursday earlier than the Rangers’ 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay. “He’s a man I regarded as much as rising up taking part in hockey. We’re from the identical space, and after I made my means right here he took me below his wing. Each little factor I wanted assist with, he helped me out. We work out in the summertime. He’s one man who’s been an enormous position mannequin for me, has been any person I look as much as. I nonetheless will, but it surely’s totally different not seeing him within the locker room.”
Chris Kreider departed halfway via the primary interval Thursday after taking successful to the pinnacle. Alain Vigneault stated Kreider handed testing however the medical workers “didn’t need to take any possibilities.”
McDonagh continues to be recovering from a proper hand damage, however J.T. Miller performed 11:44 towards his former teammates. Skjei and a handful of different Rangers met the 2 for dinner right here Wednesday night time, solely a week-and-a-half faraway from being teammates.
The Lightning was outshooting the Rangers 17-0 earlier than Vladislav Namestnikov, who was a part of the package deal the Blueshirts obtained within the McDonagh commerce, registered their first shot at 10:52. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for Alexandar Georgiev when Chris Kunitz made it 4-1 at 12:35 of the second.
For a few month now since McDonagh performed his final sport as a Ranger on Feb. 7, Skjei has primarily taken on McDonagh’s position, shouldering the heavy minutes on the highest pair and prime penalty kill unit, although after a stretch of man-advantage utilization he’s getting a break on the ability play. Over the 13 video games he performed since McDonagh went down getting into Thursday, the 23-year-old Skjei has averaged 23:27 of ice time.
Skjei is making an attempt to not suppose as if he’s taking on for McDonagh and doesn’t need to change how he performs or acts within the locker room. However he has actually discovered from McDonagh in how he carries himself each on and off the ice, and that may proceed, the previous Rangers captain having left an indelible imprint on him. “I can’t thank him sufficient for what he’s completed,” Skjei stated. “We miss him right here, however he’s in a great spot with an opportunity to win.”
Mika Zibanejad returned after lacking Tuesday’s sport with the flu. … Kevin Shattenkirk (meniscus surgical procedure) skated with the staff once more however stays with out an actual return date. … Ondrej Pavelec (MCL sprain) continues to be skating away from the staff and taking pictures.
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