Kaapo Kakko likely returning to Rangers’ lineup against Blue Jackets

1 year ago 137

All signs constituent to Kaapo Kakko returning to the Rangers lineup connected Friday against the Blue Jackets astatine Madison Square Garden, pursuing his four-game stint connected injured reserve with an undisclosed upper-body wounded that helium suffered successful the archetypal play against the Canadiens connected Oct. 16.

“Hopefully, beauteous sure,” caput manager Gerard Gallant said Thursday of Kakko playing connected Friday. “But that’s not 100 percent. We got done today, and the aesculapian unit volition fto maine cognize successful the morning. It looks good.”

Kakko has been a afloat subordinate successful the past 2 practices, skating connected the 2nd enactment adjacent to Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome and connected the 2nd power-play portion alongside Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, Sammy Blais and Nils Lundkvist. The Finnish winger said helium was feeling bully aft absorbing a large deed from Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov.

“I’m acceptable to play,” helium said.

Rangers Kaapo Kakko injuryRangers winger Kaapo Kakko is expected to play Friday against the Blue Jackets.Getty Images

During his clip connected the sidelines, Kakko mentioned that helium peculiarly watched the penalty-kill units to marque corrections successful his ain game. He said it feels astir similar a caller commencement to the play and that helium believes the points are coming.

“It’s antithetic watching the games,” said Kakko, who has yet to registry his archetypal constituent of the season. “I don’t know, particularly I was watching our PK, due to the fact that I’m playing [on] it close now. I deliberation I learned thing astir it and I deliberation that’s the biggest thing.”

Ryan Reaves, who suffered a lower-body wounded conscionable nether 3:30 into Monday’s loss, is inactive considered “day-to-day” and is doubtful to play against the Blue Jackets.

“I’m not saying he’s not going to play, but I’m doubtful for tomorrow,” Gallant said.

With Kakko’s instrumentality to the 2nd line, Barclay Goodrow practiced connected the near helping of the apical portion adjacent to halfway Mika Zibanejad connected Thursday. The trio of Lafreniere, Chytil and Blais — who combined for 5 points (two goals, 3 assists) against the Predators past week — were reunited connected the 3rd line.

“We’re decidedly considering it,” Gallant said. “I deliberation connected the roadworthy travel you saw they played truly good together, with Laffy down there. If things are going perfect, you support your 4 lines rolling, that’s the champion quality for a coach. Last crippled wasn’t good. I deliberation Laffy, Chytil and Blaiser had existent bully occurrence connected the roadworthy successful a mates of those games, truthful we mightiness spell backmost with that.”

In spot of Reaves connected the close helping of the 4th line, Greg McKegg stepped successful adjacent to Dryden Hunt and Kevin Rooney.

Chris Kreider had a attraction time and did not enactment successful practice.