After eight-game absence, St. Louis back for Rangers tomorrow

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The Blueshirts will welcome back their most experienced player on Thursday when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Martin St. Louis, who’s been out of the lineup since Mar. 16 with a sprained MCL, will draw back in for the first time in eight games. The 39-year-old looks as though he’ll skate on a line with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes, and should have plenty of opportunity to shake the rust off prior to the playoffs — the Rangers have six games left in the regular season, including tomorrow’s game at Xcel and an intriguing final game of the year against possible first-round opponent Washington.

It’ll be important for St. Louis to work his way back into game form. This hasn’t been a banner year; while his 20 goals and 47 points are solid production, his 0.69 points-per-game average is his lowest since 2001-02. That said, he’ll still be a key cog of this Rangers team come playoff time, not only because he’s one of the few Stanley Cup winners on the roster, but also because he was a vital part of last year’s run, leading the team in goals (eight) while finishing second in points.