The New York Rangers enter Friday’s game against Toronto having won five of their past six games and now they are getting back some of the forward depth that has made them such a dangerous offensive team this season when Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich return to the lineup.
Nash has not played since Dec. 18 and missed the past eight games due to a groin injury, while Buchnevich has been sidelined since early November with a back injury.
Prior to the injury Nash had recorded 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) in 30 games. The point production itself has been fine, and actually puts him ahead of the pace he was on a season ago, but his possession numbers and shot numbers have taken a bit of a fall from where they have been in recent years. Still, he can be one of the better goal scorers in the NHL and remains an underrated penalty killer. Getting him back in the lineup is only going to help.
Buchnevich, meanwhile, was having a fantastic debut season before his injury with four goals and four assists in his first 10 games. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said on Friday morning that while Buchnevich is back on Friday, he is expected to sit him on Saturday in Montreal because of the back-to-back situation.
The Rangers enter play on Friday as the NHL’s highest scoring team and can move ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division if they pick up a point against the Maple Leafs.