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Insider Only Pens – Rangers Monday Playoff Report: Latest Developments on Injury Front

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Penguin – Rangers Monday Report

The biggest story line going into the Rangers – Penguins playoff series is the injury situation. Today has given some clarity of where things stand head into game 1 or maybe not as Henrik Lundqvist left the ice twice in Rangers practice, likely starting a panic for Ranger fans.

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On the Rangers side, No. 1 defenseman Ryan McDonagh is certainly going to miss game 1 with a fracture in his right hand. Reports out of New York indicate McDonagh skated this morning but did not grip a stick. The New York Post reported last week McDonagh would at least miss the first couple games in round 1. There are no expectations of him playing until the series shifts back to New York next week.

Eric Staal, Dan Girardi who were banged up over the weekend, are practicing today and fully expected to be ready to go for game 1.

The Rangers lines at practice were the following:

Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – Rick Nash
JT Miller – Derek Brassard – Mats Zuccarello
Kevin Hayes – Eric Staal – Jesper Faster
Tanner Glass – Dominic Moore – Victor Stalberg.

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For Pittsburgh, it’s been a positive day on the injury front.

As reported on Friday, the Penguins have been confident that Marc Andre Fleury would be cleared and ready to play for Game 1. While the Penguins are not going to commit to Fleury playing yet, neither will Fleury, barring a setback over the next 48 hours, he’s going to be in goal Wednesday night.

Two other positive developments involve Olli Maatta and Evgeni Malkin.

Out since March 24, the Penguins have believed Maatta’s injury was a three week injury and he participated in his first practice with the team today. He skated as the extra pairing with Derrick Pouliot and while not a guarantee he’s a go for game 1, Maatta is considered very likely to be available to play by game 2 at the latest.

As for Malkin, his latest checkup last week showed his arm injury is progressing closer to being a six-week healing process than an eight-to-nine week injury. The spacing out of the first round series keeps him as a possibility to return late in the series. Malkin has intensified his on ice workouts with full ability to shoot and handle pucks.

One player who won’t be ready for the start of the series is Bryan Rust, while another player whose status for the rest of the playoffs is up in the air is Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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