Ryan McDonagh will be ‘shut down’ until at least Sunday

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Rangers began life — at least a short stint, they hope — without Ryan McDonagh, as their captain was sidelined for his team’s 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Wednesday night.

McDonagh had testing done on Tuesday that revealed he had a “mild strain” in his abdomen, according to coach Alain Vigneault. He is expected to be “shut down” until Sunday, when he will be reevaluated. That means he will also miss Friday’s Garden match against the Red Wings and Sunday’s home matinee vs. the Canucks.

It’s an injury that had been bothering McDonagh for a while, and there is going to be more stress put on the other defensemen — including Steven Kampfer, who drew back in after being a scratch for the previous two games.

“There’s no doubt that Ryan plays a lot of minutes, plays important minutes, plays big minutes against the other team’s top line,” Vigneault said. “So we’re going to have to spread out the workload [in] 5-on-5 and on the specialty teams. This gives an opportunity for some other guys who are always looking at me for more ice time, they’re going to get it.”

Vigneault gave the most ice time to the pair of Brendan Smith (19:46) and Nick Holden (22:00), and Brady Skjei (20:35) and Kevin Shattenkirk (18:28) weren’t far behind. The third pair was Marc Staal (18:43) and Steven Kampfer (17:35).


The Rangers have just six healthy defensemen, but there was no call-up from AHL Hartford imminent, with Tony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk the most likely candidates.

“With our workload right now as far as games spread out the way they are, I don’t see the need to at this time,” Vigneault said. If we need somebody, they’re an hour and a half away from New York, so it’s not that big of an issue.”


The Rangers’ power play went 1-for-2, breaking a three-game run of 0-for-9 coming in. It seemed that league had figured out their entries, which they specifically practiced for 15 minutes on Tuesday and which were a lot better against Carolina.

“Every team adjusts to the opposition,” Vigneault said. “Our power play, for a while there was on a big run. So definitely other teams are spending a little bit more time looking in. They were making it a little bit more challenging for us gaining the zone, and making that next play.”


David Desharnais was a scratch for the second straight game. His replacement, Paul Carey, scored a goal and took two penalties over a team-low 9:14.

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