Brassard (mumps) set to return Saturday night

Derick Brassard has been one of the league’s pleasant surprises this season with eight goals and 24 points in 27 games. His momentum was threatened when he became yet another victim of the NHL’s mumps outbreak, but in the end the disease hasn’t cost him much playing time.

Thanks in part to Brassard’s illness corresponding with a light section of the Rangers’ schedule, he has only missed two contests. After skating Saturday morning, he confirmed that he would play tonight, per the Bergen Record.

The 27-year-old forward will assume his previous role as the Rangers’ first-line center. That unit also includes Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. J.T. Miller, 21, had gotten some playing time with Nash and Zuccarello during Brassard’s absence, but Miller will drop to the third line.

The Rangers are aiming for their fifth straight win tonight as they battle to enter the holiday break in a playoff position. They’re currently two points behind the second Wild Card spot, which is currently occupied by Florida.

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