COLUMBUS, Ohio — Well, this can’t be good.
Prior to Saturday’s win against the Blue Jackets (5-3), Filip Chytil had been placed by the Rangers on injured reserve. Chytil had spent the previous two days skating on his own in the aftermath of an upper body injury (suspected to be a concussion) he suffered Nov. 6 in an early first-period collision with Sammy Blais during the Rangers’ loss at Calgary.
It is possible that the move was made so that the Rangers could clear a roster space for Greg McKegg, who was promoted from the AHL Wolf Pack in advance of the match Saturday, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given the fact McKegg was a healthy scratch after arriving following the morning skate.
It is certainly more plausible that Chytil encountered a setback in the aftermath of skating at the Rangers’ training facility. The Rangers, who like essentially every NHL team are sparing with information about injured players, had listed Chytil as “day-to-day” prior to this development.
Artemi Pantarin’s game was on the rise over the last few matches. Saturday saw him score twice and unleash a season-high 11 shots. But the Russian Rockette didn’t seem especially impressed with himself after getting his first two five-on-five goals of the year.
“I can’t say I played pretty good tonight, honestly,” he said after scoring once from the low left circle and once from the top of the right circle. “It was the luckiest space for me or the right space.
“I don’t know. I’m happy with my game when I [set up]My teammates had many opportunities. It was hard, but I persevered. In the beginning of the year, I tried to find my game, but I don’t forget how I need to play to be good.
“It was maybe three games at the beginning of the year, but after I see my game on TV, it was not pretty well, so I started working. Sometimes, you feel like you’re doing everything right, but when you look at the TV, you see that you’re not skating enough, you’re not trying enough.
“That’s just my point. You might be able to see the difference in someone who is not like me. But if you get six points, you probably played OK.”
Alexandar Georgiev ended both of the shots that he was facing in six minutes and 45 seconds. Igor Shesterkin, who had been bowled in the crease by Georgiev, forced him to retire.
Dryden Hunt scored seven shots after having only 10 shots in the previous 13 matches. The winger had an impressive total of seven shots on net, a new career record. He also got 12:29 minutes of ice time. … Jacob Trouba had six shots. … Ryan Reaves was credited with a team-high seven hits. … Alexis Lafreniere received a team low 9:44 of ice time.