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New York Rangers’ Dan Girardi Hopes to Return Sunday

February 9th, 2013 at 2:48 PM
By PJ Foti

'Dan Girardi' photo (c) 2010, Robert Kowal - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It still isn't clear why New York Rangers' Dan Girardi missed the past two games, but the gritty defenseman hopes to return to the lineup soon after being "banged up."

"I'm hoping to get back as soon as possible," Girardi said, according to a video on the Rangers' website. "I'm not going to say when or where. I just want to get back to feeling better. It would be nice to play Sunday."

Having Girardi out of the lineup is something the Rangers aren't used to. He is averaging just about 25 minutes of ice time per game this year, and is as durable as they come.

In the past five years, Girardi missed only two games — both in 2010-11 — prior to this season.

He skated in practice right before New York's 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, but knew he wouldn't be able to go later that night.

"It's hard to miss these games, especially when you don't miss a lot. It's a lot different feeling going into a morning and trying to figure out if you're able to go or not," Girardi told reporters. "It's a hard process for me but just hoping that it's over and I can get healthy and get after it."

With Girardi out of the lineup, head coach John Tortorella has had to juggle the lineup of defenseman. However, with Girardi returning, the lineup will finally get back to normalcy.

The Rangers won't have anyone out due to injury — now that Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider are back — and with Girardi's tough defensive presence, perhaps the Rangers will being their run through the Eastern Conference.

Tags: Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi, Hockey, John Tortorella, New York, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL, Ryan Callahan

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