Rangers hope Callahan returns in meeting with Kings

(SportsNetwork.com) - Returning captain Ryan Callahan and the New York Rangers will try to spoil the home opener of the Los Angeles Kings as the two clubs clash on Monday night.

New York is playing the second contest of its season-opening nine-game road trip and is expected to have Callahan in action after he missed Thursday's 4-1 loss to Phoenix while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

The 28-year-old had 16 goals and 15 assists in 45 games last season after netting 29 goals in 76 games the previous campaign.

Callahan will begin the season on the third line with Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt as head coach Alain Vigneault works him into game shape, but the talented two-way forward also is expected to see time on the power play and penalty kill.

"I'm excited. It's been a long summer trying to recover from this, with rehab and everything else, not being able to participate that much in training camp or any of the preseason games and obviously in Phoenix. I've been chomping at the bit to get back on the ice and I'm excited about (Monday)," said Callahan.

The Rangers are hoping to avoid their third straight 0-2 start after losing their opener. Marc Staal had the lone goal for New York and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in Vigneault's coaching debut with the club.

"When we got caught out there on a few shifts on some long changes, we got caught running around a little bit," said Staal. "That's something we'll have to iron out. We had some good d-zone coverage and some not so good. We've got to learn from the good and correct the bad."

The Kings split a pair of road games to begin their season, claiming a shootout victory in Minnesota on Thursday ahead of a 5-3 setback in Winnipeg the following night.

Matt Greene had an early goal, while Jeff Carter and Justin Williams put home power-play goals in the third period to make it a one-goal game. However, the Jets sealed things with an empty-net tally.

"We were outplayed, but we were also outshooting them and putting pucks on the net," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

Jonathan Quick yielded four goals on 27 shots before Ben Scrivens took over between the pipes. Scrivens, who spent the first two years of his career with Toronto, stopped all five shots he saw in his Kings' debut.

Los Angeles, which also hosts Ottawa on Wednesday, notched a 3-2 overtime victory over New York when the clubs last met on Oct. 7, 2011 in Sweden. The clubs are meeting in L.A. for the first time since a 2-1 Kings victory on Feb. 2, 2010.