The Rangers' penalty kill has been really good – perfect, actually – as of late. Now it has to do so without top penalty killer and shot blocker Darroll Powe.
The team announced Monday Powe had been placed on injured reserve after suffering a concussion in a second-period collision with the Capitals' Matt Hendricks during the Rangers' 2-1 win Sunday night. There's no timetable for Powe's return but he'll remain on injured reserve for at least seven days.
"Obviously, you never like to see that," said defenseman Marc Staal, who missed the first 36 games last season while recovering from a concussion. "You hope the player treats it the way it should be treated. That's the biggest thing, when a guy goes down that he doesn't come back too early. That's when you get hurt."
The Rangers recalled 6-foot-3, 220-pound Brandon Mashinter, 24, from Connecticut (AHL) and either he or rookie Chris Kreider, a healthy scratch the past two games, will be in the lineup tonight against the Canadiens at Madison Square Garden.
"I missed him right away on the bench," coach John Tortorella said of Powe, acquired from the Wild for Mike Rupp on Feb. 4. "Especially protecting a lead and killing penalties. He's been a really good penalty killer. He doesn't have the stats. But it's not always about the stats. He's done a lot of good things in his role."
Since Powe's acquisition, the Rangers have killed off all but one of their opponents' 20 power-plays. That includes all 16 over their past five games and 18 straight, overall. That's pushed the Rangers' penalty kill to ninth in the NHL after the Rangers had allowed eight power-play goals in 37 chances over their first eight games.
A good portion of the Rangers' turnaround can be attributed to Powe's presence, which allowed Tortorella to form fairly consistent forward pairs on the penalty kill. Mainly, Powe would be on the ice with faceoff/penalty kill specialist Jeff Halpern while captain Ryan Callahan was paired with Derek Stepan.
Rangers' Darroll Powe out with concussion
Bergen Record | Feb 20