Friday night before the team had even exited the Verizon Center following their 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals, the Rangers announced that rookie defenseman Conor Allen had been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack. The move was precipitated by the uncertain status of veteran defenseman Anton Stralman who suffered an undisclosed injury during the first period Friday night and did not return to action thereafter.
Following the game Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said that he was unsure of the extent of the injury suffered by Stralman. With the team carryying only six defensemen, another needed to join the team, at worst as a precaution, before the Rangers next play Sunday night down in Tampa.
"They don't think it's anything serious at this time, but we'll know more (Saturday)," is all Vigneault would offer on Stralman, who played just four shifts against the Capitals before exiting the contest.
Playing in his rookie pro season, the 23 year-old Allen has scored five goals, added eight assists, and totaled 13 points in 29 games this season with Hartford. The former UMass-Amherst standout leads all Wolf Pack defensemen in goals and ranks third among the team's d-men in points. He also has racked up 34 penalty minutes, and notched a pair of power play goals.
Recently Allen's offensive numbers have picked up. He has seven points (2-5-7) in his last seven games, and is coming off a two-point outing in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Bridgeport.
The 6-foot-2, 210 pound Allen had a very strong training camp with the Rangers, though team officials believed it best that he learn the pro game in the minors before beginning his NHL career. Last year Allen recorded a collegiate-best 19 points at UMass-Amherst, and two seasons ago he scored a career-high seven goals.
Stralman is in the midst of an extremely solid season with the Rangers, his third with the organization. Stralman has appeared in all 39 games this season, anchoring the team's second defense pairing, while averaging 20 minutes of ice time a night. Stralman has four assists and 16 penalty minutes on the season.
BlueshirtsUnited.com and the team's official Twitter, @nyrangers, will have all the latest news regarding Anton Stralman's injury as well as Conor Allen's arrival in the coming days.