Vitali Kravtsov is looking to reverse his injury fortunes on his Rangers return

Vitali Kravtsov is looking to reverse his injury fortunes on his Rangers return

As he prepares to start his season for the fourth time, Vitali Kravtsov doesn’t even want to think about the myriad of injuries that have limited him to 28:52 of ice time in just four games.

And why would he? Kravtsov has experienced one of the worst streaks of bad luck through the Rangers’ first 13 games of the season. The flip side, though, is the fact that there’s no player on the Rangers’ roster that needs some good fortune more than Kravtsov. There’s a palpable desire to prove himself, especially given his rocky relationship with the organization over the past two seasons, but Kravtsov hasn’t been able to stay on the ice long enough to do so.

Kravtsov skated at right wing on the third line alongside Chris Kreider and Filip Chytil during practice Monday, indicating the 22-year-old winger should be ready to go against the Islanders on Tuesday after missing the past four matches with an uncovered upper body. injury

Vitaly Kravtsov
Vitali Kravtsov has suffered a brutal stroke of luck during his tenure at Rangers.
Getty Images

“To play well, help the team and help myself,” he said when asked about his goal to return to action. “Play hard, play fast. You just have to find that confidence and I believe [during] practices that I have found a little. I feel so much better right now than I did a week or a month ago.”

That last part of his first sentence should be Kravtsov’s focus. All Kravtsov can do at this point is try to put himself in the best position to succeed at the NHL level. But it includes playing smart, not leaving himself vulnerable to injury, and making sure he shows up in a lineup that desperately needs an offensive spark.

“I want the record too much,” he said. “I need to be more confident in the battles with the puck, without the puck, in the forecheck/backcheck. I’m going to build that confidence, everything will go much better.”

Also, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, who missed Sunday’s game with the Red Wings with an upper-body injury suffered from a hit by Bruins winger David Pastrnak earlier this month, can’t play Tuesday night. She resumed skating, but will likely be out for a second straight game.

Julien Gauthier suffered an upper-body injury against Detroit on Sunday and did not participate in practice. Rangers rated the 25-year-old winger day-to-day.

Defenseman Adam Fox sat out practice for maintenance purposes, the Rangers said.

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