|ESPN.com: NHL||[Print without images]|
NEW YORK -- After missing almost three weeks with a broken left thumb, New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan returned to the lineup Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden.
Callahan, who injured his hand in a game against the Washington Capitals in mid-October, said he is ready to go and eager to play.
|Ryan Callahan has been sidelined since Oct. 16 due to a broken thumb.|
"It's 100 percent. It feels good," Callahan said after the team's morning skate. "The last couple days of shooting have gone well, it's reacted well ... I'm ready to go."
Callahan's addition was another huge boost for a Rangers squad rounding into form after a tough stretch and a few key injuries to start the season.
Since the return of Carl Hagelin, who missed the first 10 games with a shoulder injury, the Rangers have rattled off three straight victories to climb within one game of .500 at 6-7-0.
Adding to the urgency of reaching that benchmark, the Rangers are eager to assert themselves against a Ducks team that crushed them earlier this season in a 6-0 shutout in Anaheim on Oct. 10.
"To say the least, we embarrassed ourselves," coach Alain Vigneault said of that loss. "We have an opportunity tonight to measure ourselves against one of the best teams in the league."
Adding another element of drama to Monday's action was the subtle dig Vigneault took at the Ducks and coach Bruce Boudreau.
Vigneault mentioned Boudreau's decision to put Anaheim's top power-play unit on the ice in the third period with the Ducks already leading 6-0.
"It was 6-0, six minutes left, we took a penalty and they put their top unit on the ice," Vigneault said. "So they play ... they're a good team."
Asked about Vigneault's comments, Boudreau fired back.
"Has he seen our power play?" Boudreau asked.
The Ducks are last in the NHL on the man-advantage with an atrocious 4-for-58 record and 6.9 percent success rate.