If Tony DeAngelo could go down to AHL Hartford, he probably would.
But the 22-year-old Rangers defenseman would have to clear waivers in order to be sent down, which would not happen. So instead, he remained a healthy scratch for the sixth time in the first eight games with Sunday night’s 4-1 loss to the Flames at the Garden.
“Tony knows what he needs to do,” first-year coach David Quinn said before the game. “We’ve had good conversations, and he knows what’s expected of him. He knows what he needs to do to get back in the lineup.”
DeAngelo played 32 games for the Rangers last season and another 29 for the Wolf Pack. He made his season debut this year in the third game, picking up two assists in an 8-5 loss at Carolina, where he was part of a seven-man defensive corps. Yet he struggled mightily in his next game, a 3-2 overtime win against the Sharks on Oct. 11, and has not gotten back in since.
Defenseman Freddy Claesson missed the game with what Quinn called “an upper-body injury.” He added that the injury “doesn’t seem to be long term.”
Claesson, who signed this summer as a free agent, had been solid in the four straight games he played since making his Rangers debut Oct. 11.
Forward Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch for the first time this season, as the 26-year-old had struggled to make an impact in his first seven games. Spooner had come over from the Bruins last season as part of the Rick Nash deal that sent Rick Nash to Boston, and he signed a two-year, $8 million deal this summer as a restricted free agent.
“I just think there’s more there,” Quinn said. “He and I talked about it [Saturday]. He’s a really good player, we just need him to play to his ability.”
Spooner was replaced by Cody McLeod, who was part of an energetic fourth line with Vlad Namestnikov and Vinni Lettieri.
“I thought that line gave us energy,” Quinn said. “It might have been our best line of the first period and they played good, long minutes because they deserved to.”
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves in his seventh start of the first eight games and his fifth straight. He was backed up by Marek Mazanec, who had been called up Thursday.
Alex Georgiev, who had been the backup since opening night but played just once in the first three weeks, spent the weekend with Hartford playing games Friday and Sunday.
He gave up three goals on 28 shots in a 4-3 win over Belleville on Friday then gave up three goals on 35 shots in a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
The plan is for Georgiev to rejoin the Rangers this week, if not for Tuesday’s Garden match against the Panthers, then for the start of their four- game road trip that begins in Chicago on Thursday then continues in California.