NEW YORK – Rangers captain Ryan Callahan returned to the New York lineup a tad earlier than expected and at the expense of veteran forward Brian Boyle.
Callahan was expected to be sidelined 10 to 14 days after he dislocated his shoulder in New York's victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 29.
Instead, he was in the lineup Thursday against the New York Islanders — nine days after he got hurt. He missed only three games, and New York went 1-2.
To make room in the lineup, Boyle was benched by Rangers coach John Tortorella. In nine games, Boyle has one assist, a minus-3 rating and 11 penalty minutes.
"I hope he's miserable tonight," Tortorella said shortly before Thursday's game. "I hope he never puts me in this position again. Brian has done squat. Other guys will be held accountable, too. We'll start here. He hasn't been good at killing penalties. He's been very inconsistent. We have a few kids up now, and that's jammed things up."