One of the Rangers’ hottest players was sent home from Edmonton with a case of the mumps Sunday. Center Derick Brassard returned to New York, missing Sunday night’s game against the Oilers, and he will miss Tuesday’s game in Calgary as well.
Brassard, ironically or not, went head-to-head with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby in many close-quarters battles on Monday at the Garden. On Sunday, Crosby’s suspected case of the mumps was also confirmed.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, upon meeting with the media in Edmonton prior to the game, even suggested that Brassard was infected by Crosby.
Brassard was on a five-game point streak (two goals, five assists) centering the team’s top goal scorer, Rick Nash, and Mats Zuccarello, who scored twice Saturday.
One other Ranger has also had the mumps in this latest scourge to break out through the NHL. Tanner Glass, who had recovered from the mumps, replaced Brassard in Sunday’s lineup. J.T. Miller, who had three goals in five games on the wing since his callup from Hartford (AHL), would slide back to center, with Chris Kreider moving up from the fourth line to take Miller’s spot, and Glass filling Kreider’s one-game spot on the fourth line.
Henrik Lundqvist started again in goal after Saturday’s win in Vancouver. Lundqvist had played just once in 11 days prior to Saturday, so Vigneault decided to let him play the back-to-backs.
Photos by Getty Images.