Filip Chytil feeling better, could be ‘option’ for Rangers in Game 5: report

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

There might be some good news about the health of New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil.

Dan Rosen of NHL.com is reporting that Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said Chytil is “feeling better and hopes he can be an option in Game 5” of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Chytil was scratched for Game 4 on Saturday in Raleigh because of an illness. That was concerning news considering the 24-year-old had missed six months of action due to an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion before finally returning to play in the Game 3 overtime win against the Hurricanes on Thursday.

After practicing Friday, Chytil didn’t take part in the morning skate Saturday and was replaced in the lineup by Jonny Brodzinski for the 4-3 loss in Game 4.

“He felt great (Friday), went to the team meal,” Laviolette explained Saturday. “Woke up this morning and didn’t feel well.”

Since the Blueshirts are flying home to New York, they won’t practice Sunday. So, it won’t be known until Monday if Chytil is indeed feeling better and if he’ll be able to play in Game 5. The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can close it out with a win Monday, and move on to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in the past three seasons.

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Filip Chytil health concern looms over Game 5 for Rangers against Hurricanes

NHL: New York Rangers at Winnipeg Jets
Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Rangers never confirmed that Chytil sustained a concussion against the Hurricanes on Nov. 2, it is widely believed to be the case since he didn’t play again in the regular season and had a relapse of sorts in January. He returned to practice about four weeks ago and finally was back in the lineup Thursday.

Skating at left wing on a line with Alex Wennberg and Kaapo Kakko in Game 3, Chytil had plenty of jump, logged 12:02 in ice time, had one shot on goal off a power rush to the net, five shot attempts and one hit.

Chytil recorded six assists in 10 regular-season games this season.

Brodzinski took Chytil’s lineup spot Saturday, playing his first game in these playoffs. He logged 8:49, was on for one goal against and set a screen on Barclay Goodrow’s deflection goal in the second period. Brodzinski skated on the fourth line with Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey. Will Cuylle moved back up to the third line with Chytil out and scored his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Matt Rempe, who played the first six games this postseason has been scratched the past two.

For now that final lineup spot in the bottom six is up in the air for Game 5 at home. But as long as Chytil is moving past his illness, whether he plays or not is secondary to his long-term health.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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