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Rangers' “Buffalo Killer” Skapski out 4-to-5 months

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Mackenzie Skapski hopes to be hunting Buffalo again by mid-fall.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Mackenzie Skapski hopes to be hunting Buffalo again by mid-fall.

The Rangers announced early Tuesday afternoon that “the Buffalo killer,” goalie Mackenzie Skapski, underwent hip arthroscopy to repair a labral tear in his right hip.

The procedure was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Skapski is expected to be sidelined for four-to-five months, which puts his approximate return between Oct. 2 and Nov. 2.

Skapski, who turns 21 on June 15, earned his nickname from coach Alain Vigneault by appearing in two games as a rookie with the Rangers and winning both of them on the road against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. He was on the roster and traveled with the team as Cam Talbot’s backup during Henrik Lundqvist’s extended spring injury absence.

Skapski finished with a 2-0-0 record, 0.50 goals against average (GAA), .978 save percentage and one shutout.

Skapski earned his first career NHL win while making his NHL debut on Feb. 20 at Buffalo, becoming the third-youngest goaltender in franchise history to record a win in his NHL debut. Skapski also posted his first career NHL shutout while making his second career NHL start on Mar. 14 at Buffalo.

He became the first Rangers goaltender to record his first career NHL shutout in one of his first two NHL starts since Marcel Paille did so during the 1957-58 season.

The 6-3, 191-pound netminder also appeared in 28 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, posting a 15-8-3 record, 2.40 GAA, .914 save percentage and three shutouts.

Skapski ranked seventh among AHL rookie goaltenders in GAA and ranked 10th among AHL rookie goaltenders in save percentage. In his last 16 AHL appearances during the regular season, Skapski posted a 10-4-2 record, along with a 2.30 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

The Rangers originally selected Skapski, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, 170th overall in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL draft.

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