Rangers’ Vitali Kravtsov out to face Predators with stomach infection

Rangers’ Vitali Kravtsov out to face Predators with stomach infection

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The streak of bad luck for Vitali Kravtsov continued Saturday.

Kravtsov, who has played just three full games of the Rangers’ first 16 this season due to numerous injuries, was sidelined Saturday against the Predators, this time with a stomach problem, according to the team. The 22-year-old winger played his best game of the season against the Red Wings on Thursday, scoring his first point in the form of an assist and putting his first two shots on goal.

“He’s had a tough road,” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said after the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. “He’s got the flu today, so I know he’s not feeling too well right now.”

Gallant did not know if Kravtsov would be available for the second night of the Rangers’ back-to-back, Sunday against the Coyotes at the Garden. Kravtsov has been limited to just 52 total minutes this season, but after his introduction on Thursday, it would be beneficial for him to get back into the lineup as soon as possible so he can continue to build this game.

Rangers’ Vitali Kravtsov out to face Predators with stomach infection
Vitali Kravtsov has played just three full games in the Rangers’ first 16.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

“I have no idea,” he said. “I just heard he was sick. I’m sure he’ll come here and the coach will look at him and see how he feels.”

After hitting his head against the boards three times during the Rangers’ season opener against the Lightning and subsequently missing the next four games, Kravtsov suffered an upper-body injury against the Avalanche on October 25, the next game after his initial return. in the lineup. He then missed the season opener with the Islanders on October 26.

In the next contest, against the Stars on October 29, Kravtsov was put in a bad position during a drive for the puck against Dallas defenseman Jani Hakanpaa and suffered the consequences. She was out for another four contests before returning to the lineup against the Islanders earlier this week.

Ryan Reaves returned to the Rangers lineup after serving as a healthy scratch in the previous three games. The veteran wing slotted into his usual fourth-line spot.

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak earned the starting hoop against the Predators, marking his fifth appearance of the season, in which he had a 0-3-1 record heading into Saturday. The 37-year-old Slovakian was 15-4-6 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .927 save percentage during his career against Nashville.

As a result of his back, Igor Shesterkin will likely be in goal on Sunday.

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