Rangers face decision on Miller

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
1:01
PM ET
It appears rookie J.T. Miller will be sticking with the Rangers, as the team has instead sent down Chris Kreider to Connecticut (AHL).

The Rangers had five games to decide whether they would keep Miller on the roster and trigger the first year on his entry-level deal, or send him back to Connecticut and gain an extra year of contract control. Thursday's loss to the Islanders marked Miller's fifth game, and with Kreider being sent down, it appears Miller will be on the ice when the Rangers host the Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

With Miller likely staying, here's a look at the 19-year-old's first five games on Broadway:

RECORD: The Rangers went 3-1-1 with Miller on the squad, achieving their only three-game winning streak of the season during that stretch, and also moving above .500 for the first time. He galvanized the team with his fantastic performance against the Islanders on Feb. 7.

SCORING: In that game, his Madison Square Garden debut, Miller scored a pair of goals to help beat the crosstown rivals. The Rangers had been searching for consistent scoring outside their top lines, and he provided it that night.

While that is the only game in which he scored, Miller is tied for sixth on the team with two goals. In fact, he has as many tallies as Brad Richards and Derek Stepan, despite the other two each playing eight more games than the 19-year-old.

Miller had two shots in each of his first three games, but managed just one over the past two against the Bruins and Islanders. In the win over Boston on Feb. 12, he was held without a shot. He had seven in five games -- more than Chris Kreider's total.

PLUS-MINUS RATIO: After tallying a +1 and +2 rating in his first two games against the Devils and Islanders, Miller has posted -1 ratings in two of the past three games. He had -1 ratings against the Lightning and Islanders, but did manage a +1 against the Bruins. For his five games he earned a +2 overall, which would tie him for the seventh-best mark on the squad.

PLAYING TIME: Miller saw the ice plenty to start, but it tailed off in the last two games. After playing at least 19 shifts and more than 13 minutes in each of his first three games, he had 15 and 13 shifts the last two contests. Thursday night, he had a season-low 13 shifts and 9:41 of ice time.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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