Rangers 'hopeful' Kaapo Kakko will play Friday against Blue Jackets

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Kaapo Kakko skates against Sabres
Kaapo Kakko skates against Sabres

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant gave injury updates in advance of the team's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, saying he's "hopeful" Kaapo Kakko will suit up.

But don't tell the third-year Ranger that.

"I'm ready to play," he said, per USA TODAY's Vince Z. Mercogliano.

Kakko played in the first three games this season, but suffered an upper body injury that's kept him out since then.

While things are looking up for Kakko, it doesn't look too good for D Ryan Reaves, who is "doubtful," per Gallant, with a lower-body injury.

As for Chris Kreider, he should have no trouble lacing his skates for this tilt.