There was a dark cloud over the Rangers’ win against Columbus on Monday — even though the Blueshirts clinched their sixth straight playoff appearance with the victory, celebrations were somewhat muted in the wake of captain Ryan McDonagh‘s apparent hand injury.
On Tuesday, New York made a corresponding roster move to replace him.
Brady Skjei — who, like McDonagh, is a left-handed shot — has been recalled from AHL Hartford. The move is interesting, because the Rangers already had a healthy d-man waiting in the wings: Dylan McIlrath, who’s been looking to get back into the lineup since suffering a knee injury in early March.
But it’s quite possible Skjei could draw in ahead of McIlrath.
The Rangers’ first-round pick (28th overall) in 2012, Skjei has performed well for Hartford this year, scoring four goals and 28 points in 68 games. He also showed well in a brief four-game cameo for New York earlier this season, playing a career-high 22:17 against the Devils on Feb. 23.
The Blueshirts play again tonight, then Thursday in a tilt against the Isles (who are limping on defense right now as well). It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Alain Vigneault decides to deploy his defensemen, as — in the wake of the McDonagh injury — the team has four right-handed shots (McIlrath, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein) compared to three lefties (Skjei, Marc Staal, Keith Yandle).