The Rangers held a full team morning skate at Madison Square Garden on Monday, and Artem Anisimov rejoined his teammates on the ice, though he will not be joining them tonight when the Blueshirts host the Devils.
Anisimov, who said he hurt his left shoulder when checked hard into the boards last Thursday against Pittsburgh, did not play in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Avalanche and had not skated at all since last Thursday. He participated in all drills Monday morning, and then took part in assistant coach Mike Sullivan's "bag skate" along with Anton Stralman and Jeff Woywitka afterwards.
"I am so happy that it's not more serious," explained Anisimov after the skate. "It's an injury where I need a full recovery for the shoulder and not get rushed. If I go on the ice (too soon) and somebody hit me in the same shoulder, then it's going to be much more serious."
Anisimov said that when he was checked hard by the side boards late in the second period Thursday he couldn't feel his arm at first and could not move it. After some massage therapy he began to regain feeling and motion in the shoulder and arm.
"I feel alright," Anisimov said of his return to the ice. "It's the first time I've skated, today."
With Stralman and Woywitka both staying late on the ice this morning, and with Steve Eminger still sidelined by an undisclosed injury, the Rangers are expected to dress the same six defensemen tonight against New Jersey---including rookie Tim Erixon, whom head coach John Tortorella said, this morning, "played really well" in his return to the club Saturday night.
Tortorella also had praise once again for winger Mats Zuccarello, saying that he has "really sparked us", especially on the power play, since being recalled from the Connecticut Whale. At the morning skate Zuccarello was on a line with Brian Boyle and John Mitchell.
The head coach also confirmed that Henrik Lundqvist would once again start for the Rangers tonight in goal against the Devils.
Share your thoughts below on Anisimov's return to the ice, tonight's Rangers lineup, and the play of Erixon and Zuccarello.