DETROIT – This could be a major issue for the rangers as they are waiting for the February 24 trading date.
But despite his most attractive trade chip, Chris Kreider, who got a knee to head in the second half and didn't return to the team's 1-0 win over the Red Wings on Saturday evening, the club didn't seem too worried about injury. Coach David Quinn said it wasn't a concussion and Kreider felt better after the game.
"It's the upper body and we don't think it's long term," said Quinn. "Surprising after you saw it. It looked tough. But he's much better now. "
The game happened when Kreider fell near the corner and teammate Mika Zibanejad got around the boards and had to jump to get over Kreider. Zibanejad's right knee hit Kreider's head and jerked him back.
Kreider got up slowly and went into the locker room. He probably went through the league's prescribed concussion protocol. But the 28-year-old, who is said to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, stayed there and had a nervous hour in Rangersland.
"I was more concerned about him and his health," said Quinn. "It looked like a heavy blow to the head. I felt better when I saw him between periods. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. After the game ended we had a chat and it is much better than I expected. "
Quinn returned to the two new defensive pairs he had put together during the break: Ryan Lindgren-Jacob Trouba and Brady Skjei-Adam Fox. They were disbanded at the end of the game on Friday night, but were reunited and stayed together for this game.
Brett Howden also started where he ended Friday evening, in the third wing next to Filip Chytil and Kappo Kakko. That had put Brendan Lemieux in the fourth row, but when Kreider went under, Lemieux got most of his shifts in the first row with Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich.
While Henrik Lundqvist posted a shutout with 33 rescues, he was supported by Alexandar Georgiev, while Igor Shesterkin was a healthy scratch. Shesterkin had his third win in his first four NHL games with a 4-2 win over Red Wings at the Garden on Friday night.
Zibanejad scored his 20th goal of the season – 13 games with a neck injury were missing in only his 37th game. He has at least 20 goals in each of the last three seasons and five of the last six seasons.