The month of March may have been kind to the New York Rangers, but it certainly wasn’t for defenseman Ryan Lindgren. With the calendar turning to April, it appears Lindgren’s long-awaited return has finally come.
After sitting out all but one game since February 25th with an upper-body injury, the Rangers and Lindgren both announced he would return to game action Wednesday night at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We’re going to play him (as if he’s) good to go… I mean, nobody’s told us anything different. The kid worked hard for a week. We probably held him out a little longer, but you know what? You want to make sure. Hopefully, things go well.” head coach Gerard Gallant explained to Vince Mercogliano of SNY.
Lindgren suffered his injury in a loss to the Capitals when he was thrown into the boards by TJ Oshie. His only game played since that time was a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes back on March 21st. In 58 games played this season, the top defenseman for the Rangers has totaled a goal and 18 assists. His +/- rating of +28 is tied for the team lead with linemate Adam Fox.
While the team struggled to handle life without Lindgren earlier in the season, the Rangers have certainly managed recently without him. New York is 10-2-2 in their last 14 games and is still giving up the fifth fewest goals per game this season.
That being said, the return of Lindgren means the Rangers will have their entire intended starting lineup for just the second time since the Patrick Kane trade in early March. With one of the most complete rosters across the NHL, New York’s championship aspirations will only enhance with the return of their best lockdown defender.
The Blueshirts are set to take on the Lightning tomorrow at 7:30 pm – ET at Madison Square Garden.