Rangers’ Boyle returns to practice, hopeful for Game 1 vs. Washington

New York Rangers forward Brian Boyle returned to practice on Friday — the first time he’s skated with teammates since suffering a concussion on Apr. 21 — and is hopeful to return to the lineup in time for Saturday’s second round series opener against the Capitals.

“This is my first day on the ice. I felt pretty good, but we’ll see,” Boyle told ESPN New York. “It’s all how you react when you take another step, so I have no idea.”

Boyle’s next step is to continue with concussion protocol. He had been riding the stationary bike for the last two days and said Friday was the first time he’d “pushed hard” on the ice, so it’s likely he and the Rangers will take a wait-and-see approach, especially regarding potential setbacks.

“It was new to me,” Boyle said of missing Games 6/7 and not being able to practice. “I just had to do nothing, and there’s a lot going on right now with our team, so that was tough to do, but it’s beneficial.

“I was just a little foggy…then just started progressing, riding the bike.”

The Rangers would love to have the big-bodied Boyle (6-foot-7, 244 pounds) back in the lineup to face Washington. He was highly effective against Ottawa, scoring three goals in the first three games and drawing the ire of a number of Senators. That included Chris Neil, who both fought Boyle and threw the hit that concussed him.

In speaking about the hit, Boyle expressed gratitude towards teammate Brandon Prust, who fought Neil in Game 6 as a response.

“It means a lot to me,” Boyle told Blueshirts United. “The whole teammate thing, and the code, is great, but the friendship thing is bigger.

“It meant a lot to me, and I felt blessed and loved. That was pretty awesome.”

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.