The Rangers entered last night’s game against the Coyotes shorthanded.
Center Derek Stepan (flu), right wing Martin St. Louis (flu) and defenseman John Moore (concussion) did not participate in the morning skate Monday at the Garden, the team reported on Twitter.
Right wing Derek Dorsett did skate after missing Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Devils with the flu, but it was unclear if any of the four would play against the Coyotes.
“I think we probably are in the process of calling [up J.T. Miller from AHL Hartford under emergency conditions], just in case,” head coach Alain Vigneault said. “[Stepan, St. Louis and Dorsett] are all game-time decisions. I think [Dorsett] is feeling a little bit better. We’ll try to sort this out as the day moves forward.”
According to Vigneault, the guidelines for preventing the flu from spreading throughout the team is simple.
“We talked about it this morning; we talk about it before every season starts. These guys, [head trainer Jim Ramsay] and his team, they’re the best,” Vigneault said. “They know when something [like the flu] happens, to keep those guys away. And there’s nothing more you can do.”
Vigneault reported Moore “felt much better today.”
“He’s going to follow the concussion protocol here,” Vigneault said. “I think he rode the bike a little bit today, go from there. He was feeling good today.”
Moore suffered the concussion following a hit in Friday’s 3-1 win over Columbus, and did not play in the win over the Devils. He was replaced in the lineup by Raphael Diaz. Diaz, who played 16:20 while paired with Kevin Klein Saturday night, was switched from the right side to the left side for Monday night’s game.
“This morning I talked to Diaz and he’s going to play [the] left side,” Vigneault said. “We need to find out if he can play there. Obviously our three right-handed shots are more comfortable on the right side, so we’re going to find out if he can do it. I think he did tell me he played a few shifts here and there, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
Around the NHL …
Henrik Lundqvist, Detroit right wing Gustav Nyquist and Boston right wing Jarome Iginla were named the three stars of the week by the NHL. Lundqvist was feted by the Rangers prior to the game for becoming the franchise’s all-time wins leader.
“It’s a big thing,” Vigneault said of the ceremony. “It’s something that’s well deserved. I think Hank’s looking forward to it, but at the end of the day we’re going to get through it and then we need to focus on the win. We need wins, we need points and I think everybody’s real happy for Hank but I think he’d prefer us winning tonight, more than anything else.”
The Hurricanes announced defenseman Justin Faulk agreed to a six-year, $29 million extension. The deal calls for Faulk to earn $2.5 million next season, $3.5 million in 2015-16, $5.5 million in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons and $6 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20. The average annual value of the deal is $4.833 million.
“Justin has proven to be among the best young defensemen in the league as confirmed by his selection to the U.S. Olympic team,” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “He has been and will continue to be the anchor of the Hurricanes’ defense for years to come.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.