Artemi Panarin, Jimmy Vesey questionable for battle vs. Devils

Artemi Panarin and Jimmy Vesey missed Wednesday’s practice with lower-body injuries, but Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t provide much clarity on their status ahead of Thursday’s game against the Devils. Ta.

“Let’s take a look [Thursday]” Laviolette said. “Right now, they’re day-to-day.”

That means the Rangers and a forward group that has already lost Blake Wheeler and Filip Sitil, at least in the regular season, enter the Battle of the Hudson with two questions surrounding their top two lines.

Artemi Panarin, who grimaced during the Rangers’ win over the Stars, is battling a lower-body injury. Jason Suzens, New York Post

Vesey, who was shifted from the fourth unit to the first line after Wheeler suffered a lower-body injury on Feb. 15, skated 14:05 in the Rangers’ win over the Stars on Tuesday, making 20 shifts while playing all of the games. Panarin, who played in 82 games, hasn’t missed a game this year in 2022-23 and is tied for fifth in the NHL with 75 points. He logged 19 minutes, 55 seconds of ice time and assisted on Adam Fox’s first goal.

Panarin and Vesey each scored two goals as the Rangers defeated the Devils on November 18 in the first rematch of the 2023 playoff series.

The two teams are scheduled to play each other twice before the end of the regular season, with the Rangers maintaining their lead in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points and the Devils, with 60 points, aiming for a wild card berth.

This year’s Devils have been defined by contradictions.

They have yet to win four in a row, and have tied three in a row only four times.

Akira Schmidt’s postseason shine has faded, and goaltenders Vitek Vanecek and Niko Dawes have struggled for most of the season.

Jimmy Basie of the Rangers "day to day" Due to lower body injury.
Rangers forward Jimmy Basie is “day-to-day” with a lower-body injury. AP

Star player Jack Hughes just returned from All-Star break after missing a month with an upper-body injury.

Ten months after the disappointing loss, there’s nothing left in the Rangers-Devils matchup that reminds you of the postseason outcome, defenseman Ryan Lindgren told the Post.

He said it will be a different team in the new season, although probably at the beginning of the season.

Approximately 60 games have been played since these playoff matchups.

Still, the matches in these rivalries “seem to be a little more heated,” Lindgren said. Such was the case with the Blueshirts’ Stadium Series victory over the Islanders last weekend.

And it’s likely to be the same at Prudential Center on Thursday.

“Those games are always intense,” Mika Zibanejad said.

Laviolette said he and Wheeler exchanged text messages and spoke once after Wheeler suffered an injury that sidelined him for at least the remainder of the regular season.

“He’s doing as well as he can,” Laviolette said. “I’m sure he wants to be on the ice and play his game. … Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast here.”

The Foxes have seven points in their last three games and nine points in their last five games since Tuesday’s first-period goal.

He also has 35 points in 36 games since returning from a month-long injury to his lower body.

“He’s a point guy,” Lindgren told the Post. “He plays defense well. Yeah, he’s playing really well right now, but I think he’s been playing really well all year.”



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