New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is making his second comeback of the young NHL season, this time returning a bit early after recovering from a broken left thumb.
Callahan, who was sidelined for the entire preseason and the regular-season opener following shoulder surgery, was back in the New York lineup Monday night in a 2-1 loss to Anaheim.
He missed seven games after breaking his thumb while blocking a shot on Oct. 16 at Washington and was expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks.
”It’s 100 percent,” Callahan said Monday morning. ”The last couple of days of shooting has gone well, so it’s reacted well. Wednesday is three weeks, and that’s kind of what we were aiming at. So it’s ready to go.”
Callahan made his season debut on Oct. 7 at Los Angeles and played five games before he was injured again. He scored three goals in his last two games, two on the power play at St. Louis on Oct. 12, and one the night he broke his thumb.
J.T. Miller was scratched from the lineup.
With the recent return of speedy forward Carl Hagelin, and Callahan also back in the lineup, the Rangers are nearly back to full strength. The one key player still missing is top forward Rick Nash, who on Monday missed his 11th game while recovering from a concussion sustained Oct. 8 at San Jose.
There is no timetable for Nash’s return.
Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa made his season debut after sitting out the Ducks’ first 15 games because of a lower-body injury. Sbisa hasn’t played since a preseason game against Phoenix on Sept. 16.
To make room in the lineup, 22-year-old Sami Vatanen was scratched for the first time in 16 games this season. Vatanen scored his first goal of the season and third in 23 career NHL games on Saturday night at Buffalo.