Rangers coach says Jimmy Vesey is ‘week to week’, who will replace him for Game 3?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Florida Panthers at New York Rangers
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New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey is week to week with an upper-body injury, coach Peter Laviolette told Mollie Walker of the New York Post on Saturday.

Vesey went back to the Rangers’ locker room after taking the brunt of a massive hit by Florida Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg halfway through the second period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final Friday night. He exited the ice favoring his left shoulder, and the Rangers ruled Vesey out for the remainder of the contest prior to the start of the 3rd period.

Walker reported that Vesey made the trip with the team to Florida ahead of Game 3 on Sunday at Amerant Bank Arena, but will not be available to play.

Related: Matt Rempe has huge impact in Game 2

Jimmy Vesey listed as week to week

Jimmy Vesey
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Vesey’s injury leaves Laviolette with an interesting decision ahead of Game 3 with the series even 1-1. Vesey had appeared in all 12 of the Blueshirts’ postseason games, putting up on goal and three points, playing a critical role on their top checking line.

Among the names circulating to slot into the lineup will be NHL veteran and former All-Star Blake Wheeler, the recently scratched Kaapo Kakko, and Jonny Brodzinski who appeared in Games 4 and 6 versus the Carolina Hurricanes in Round 2.

Wheeler’s an interesting case as the 37-year-old forward hasn’t played a game since his nasty lower-body injury on February 15th. However, he’s been cleared for action and has 45 points in an extensive 65-game postseason career.

Meanwhile, Kakko was scratched in favor of fan-favorite Matt Rempe ahead of Game 2 against Florida. His playoff stats don’t jump off the page (one goal, two points in 11 games), but he had been playing right wing on a third line that was producing favorable metrics and had appeared in every postseason game prior to his scratch on Friday.

Laviolette has not indicated who will replace Vesey, but that question will be answered soon enough with the Rangers and Panthers set to square off for a 3 p.m. puck drop Sunday.

Lou Orlando has spent the past two seasons as a New York Rangers beat reporter for WFUV Sports. The... More about Lou Orlando

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