Rangers defensemen skating on own, working way back from injuries

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a positive sign for the New York Rangers less than four weeks before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, injured defensemen Ryan Lindgren and Jacob Trouba are back on the ice. Each is skating on his own with no set date to rejoin the team.

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette had told reporters earlier in the week that Trouba was skating and that the Rangers wouldn’t rush either defenseman back. He added Saturday morning that Lindgren now is skating on his own, too.

Each defensemen is working his way back from a lower-body injury.

Related: Will Cuylle to be scratched first time this season for Rangers vs. Panthers

Jacob Trouba, Ryan Lindgren skating on own, working way back from injuries for Rangers

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Lindgren news is a pleasant surprise. He went down in a heap clutching his left leg after battling New York Islanders forward J.G. Pageau in a 5-2 Rangers’ win Sunday. The Rangers said the 26-year-old will miss a few weeks with a lower-body injury, a diagnosis that Laviolette considered good news considering how bad the injury originally appeared.

“He’s on the ice, as well. Not with us but he’s on the ice,” Laviolette said about Lindgren.

Lindgren is as tough they come in the NHL, a warrior known for playing through injury time and again. But with the Rangers playing well, a playoff spot secured and the postseason right around the corner, it would be smart to slow roll Lindgren’s return.

Trouba will miss his ninth straight game Saturday after he apparently was hurt in a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on March 4. The Rangers are 6-2-0 without their captain in the lineup.

He was originally expected to miss 2-3 weeks, with Laviolette saying Saturday, “It’s looking more like three.”

“He’s on the ice on his own, not with us yet, so that’s a real positive thing,” Laviolette said.

Zac Jones has been excellent in Trouba’s absence. The 23-year-old defensemen stepped into the lineup and has logged more than 17 minutes in ice time three times in eight games and has two assists. Veteran Chad Ruhwedel slotted into the lineup after Lindgren’s injury and is averaging just under 14 minutes of ice time on the third pair.

Regulars K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider have excelled with increased responsibility, likely providing the Rangers extra confidence in their depth heading toward the playoffs.

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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