Rangers defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk will have surgery on his left knee and is expected to be out indefinitely.
The prized free-agent acquisition, who signed a four-year, $26.6 million US deal to come to his hometown team, said Friday he has been playing through an injury all season and felt “it was the right time to get the surgery.”
Shattenkirk has five goals and 18 assists in 43 games for the Rangers after totalling 13 goals and 43 assists over 80 games for St. Louis and Washington last season. Other than the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he has had at least 30 assists and 40 points every year — one of just 14 defencemen in NHL history to accomplish the feat in six of their first seven seasons.
The Rangers, who are also without defenceman Marc Staal and forwards Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider, began the day tied with Pittsburgh for fourth in the Metropolitan Division and the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. They currently hold the tiebreaker by having played two fewer games than the Penguins.
New York faces Colorado on Saturday to open a four-game trip heading into next weekend’s All-Star break.