Filip Chytil returns to Rangers lineup for Game 3 at Hurricanes

Rangers center Filip Chytil, who was once thought to be lost for the season due to what is believed to be a concussion and has not played since November, is back in New York’s lineup for Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Chytil returned to practice on April 12 and has been making progress and traveled to Washington D.C. with the Blueshirts for Game 3 of the first-round series against the Capitals, but did not feature in the four-game sweep.

Matt Rempe, who has played sparingly for the Rangers in the first two games of the series, appears set to be a healthy scratch.

The warmup lines in Carolina were announced as:

Chris Kreider/Mika Zibanejad/Jack Roslovic
Artemi Panarin/Vincent Trocheck/Alexis Lafreniere
Chytil/Alex Wennberg/Kaapo Kakko
Will Cuylle/Barclay Goodrow/Jimmy Vesey

Chytil was coming off the best season of his career. In 74 games during the 2022-23 season, he had career-highs in goals (22) and assists (23).

His presence on the ice could prove to be quite the boost for the beleaguered Blueshirts as they play less than 48 hours after a grueling doubleOTgame on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Rempe had 7:06 time on the ice over eight shifts in the 4-3 win in Game 1. And despite Game 2 going to double overtime, he had just 4:03 time on the ince over five shifts in that 4-3 victory and did not feature in either of the overtime periods or the third period. (In Game 2, the next lowest player was Kakko with 21 shifts at 11:25.)

Heading into Game 3, Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette had this to say about the lineup: “I’m making sure that we’re going into Carolina with a lineup that we want,” he said. “I understand the question [about Rempe,] but I feel [cutting the bench] happens all the time in playoffs when you come down to it.

“Regardless of minutes, it’s about winning that hockey game.”

Chytil sustained what the Rangers classified as an upper-body injury in early November and the forward had a hard time getting back on the ice from the injury, which was suspected to be a concussion. He returned to his home country of Czechia for three weeks for what the team called a reset.

Chytil attempted a comeback in late January but suffered a setback that led to New York to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

But, he then rejoined the team for practice in mid-April when team doctors medically cleared him for full contact.

At the time, Laviolette said they would not rush him back on the ice.

“It’s great to have him back out there,” the head coach said. “He looks great, it looked like he was having fun out there, but we’re not going to rush him. Whenever he feels and the eyes on him feel and the power that be feel he’s in a good spot, that’s a different story, but right now there’s no timetable.”