Jacob Trouba returns for Rangers after 11-game absence

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Allan Henry-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Trouba will play his first game since March 4 when the New York Rangers visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. The Rangers captain missed 11 games with a lower-body injury.

His return comes one game after Ryan Lindgren returned from a lower-body injury of his own for a 3-2 shootout win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

So, the Rangers defense corps is almost at full strength again, though Erik Gustafsson remains out with an upper-body injury. Just two games ago, the Rangers were down three of their regulars in a wild 6-5 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

The Rangers were 9-2-0 without Trouba in the lineup and he’s been champing at the bit to return.

“A lot of sitting and waiting,” Trouba told the New York Post. “It was good, the team is obviously playing really well.”

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Jacob Trouba returning to Rangers lineup against Coyotes

NHL: New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers had some massive wins during Trouba’s absence. They defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins and Avalanche on the road and the Florida Panthers at home, solidifying their current first-overall position in the NHL standings.

Zac Jones, who entered the lineup when Trouba went down and has played extremely well, will remain in against the Coyotes since Gustafsson is still hurt. Chad Ruhwedel will be a healthy scratch after playing five straight games.

Braden Schneider, who elevated his game when moved from the third-pairing up into Trouba’s spot alongside K’Andre Miller, is expected to pair with Jones against the Coyotes.

“A lot of those guys have taken a lot and it’s been fun for me to watch and see them kind of grow — especially ‘Schneids,’ Trouba said. “He’s really stepped up and taken advantage of the ice time and the minutes.”

Trouba has 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in 60 games this season and is third on the Rangers averaging 21:46 in ice time per game. He also leads them with 170 blocked shots and is second with 164 hits.

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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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