Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin healthy, Filip Chytil remains day-to-day
The New York Rangers received a bit of good news on Thursday with Mika Zibanejad a full participant in practice, and slotted to play his first preseason game tonight against the New Jersey Devils.
Additionally, Artemi Panarin skated with the second group, but Filip Chytil still remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin healthy
Zibanejad, 30, posted a career high 91 points in 82 games last season for the Blueshirts. During one of the early camp scrimmages, the team’s No. 1 center was bumped and came away grimmacing.
At the time, head coach Peter Laviolette mentioned Mika was day-to-day and they would be cautious with him. Zibanejad returned to practice this week in a non-contact jersey, and is now ready for his preseason debut versus New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the team’s leading scorer for the last four seasons suffered a lower-body at some point in training camp.
Panarin, 31, has been a scoring machine ever since joining the Rangers for the 2019-2020 campaign as an unrestricted free agent. Last season, Panarin led the team in scoring with 92 points (29 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games. Conversly, Zibanejad finsihed second in scoring with 91 points in 82 matches.
Filip Chytil out a few more days
Chytil, 24, is nursing an upper-body injury and according to Laviolette will remain out for a few more days.
In 2022-23, the big center posted career numbers with 22 goals and 45 points in 74 games. This is a another big year for Chytil, who belives he can score much more.
“I had a lot of chances (last season), I didn’t score many of them and I scored over 20 goals,” Chytil said. “I worked all summer on my shot, on scoring and I believe it was just a good start for me last year. I need to build up on that and be even better. I have confidence in myself and in my abilities. It’s going to be fun.”