Filip Chytil will make trip when Rangers visit Capitals in Games 3 & 4 of playoff series

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rangers head south to the Nation’s Capital this weekend for Games 3 & 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Filip Chytil will be on the trip.

That’s significant because it’ll be the first team trip Chytil has been a part of in months.

The 24-year-old center resumed practicing with the Rangers before the start of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But he hasn’t played a game since sustaining an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion Nov. 2. And he spent much of the time since away from the team, even spending time back home in Czechia.

So, traveling to D.C. with his teammates is another significant step in the right direction for Chytil, who had six assists in 10 games before being shut down for the regular season.

“He’s working on it right now,” coach Peter Laviolette said after practice. “He’s not under restriction. He’s not being held back from anything. So, we’re working towards that (a return).”

Related: Matt Rempe thrives on playing role of outlaw on road

Filip Chytil replaced absent Alex Wennberg at Rangers practice Thursday

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Adding some level of intrigue to Chytil joining the Rangers on their trip to Washington is that Alex Wennberg didn’t practice Thursday. Wennberg had a maintenance day.

There was no further word about the 29-year-old center, but Chytil took his spot on the third line during practice Thursday. Chytil joined his former “Kids Line” linemate Kaapo Kakko and rookie Will Cuylle.

Even as an extra forward, Chytil has impressed reporters the past two weeks since returning to practice. It appears Chytil is inching closer to a possible return.

 “Any time a player is out there and being pushed in practice they’re probably getting better conditioned, a better feel for the puck, better feel for game-like situations,” Laviolette noted on Tuesday. “For me, it is noticeable that he looks good out there. He looks comfortable and I’ve noticed that.”

Chytil scored seven goals, including three game winners, over 20 games in 2022 when he helped the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Final, where they lost in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 30 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Rangers lead their best-of-7 series 2-0 and can take a stranglehold on it with a win in Game 3 on Friday. The Capitals won each of their two home games against the Rangers during the regular season.

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

Mentioned in this article:

More About: