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Rangers' Mats Zuccarello ruled out indefinitely

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Mats Zuccarello is doubled over after taking a slap shot to the side of his helmet.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Mats Zuccarello is doubled over after taking a slap shot to the side of his helmet.

Rangers top-line right wing Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury, the team announced early Monday afternoon.

Zuccarello and defensemen Keith Yandle and Marc Staal all skipped Monday’s optional practice in Greenburgh, but Yandle is simply dealing with “overall body soreness,” coach Alain Vigneault said, and Staal is out for a maintenance day.

RELATED: ZUCCARELLO INJURY POSES DEPTH TEST FOR RANGERS

Zuccarello was hit in the helmet with a slap shot by Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh while he created traffic at Pittsburgh’s net in Friday night’s 2-1 Game 5 overtime win to clinch a five-game, first-round series win.

Zuccarello left the game after being hit with 3:58 remaining in the first period and did not return. James Sheppard, who was scratched for the full first-round series, will play when Zuccarello cannot. Martin St. Louis is expected to remain in Zuccarello’s top-line right wing spot with Rick Nash and Derick Brassard, where he finished Game 5.

In the Rangers’ five-game series win over the Penguins, Mats Zuccarello has two assists.Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

In the Rangers’ five-game series win over the Penguins, Mats Zuccarello has two assists.

RELATED: HENRIK LUNDQVIST HAPPY FOR EXTRA REST AFTER RANGERS KNOCK OFF PENGUINS

The Rangers eventually will be recalling a forward from the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack in order to have a spare to open the second round of the playoffs against either the Islanders or Capitals. Game 1 is expected to be Thursday night at the Garden, but nothing is officially set.

The good news is that defenseman Kevin Klein, who has been sidelined since March 11 with a broken left arm, declared himself ready for Game 1 of the second round.

Tags:
nhl playoffs ,
mats zuccarello ,
james sheppard ,
kevin klein

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