Girardi's a go for Sunday

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will return to the lineup Sunday night against Tampa Bay. The defenseman missed the previous two games with what the Rangers described as being "banged up."

"I will play tonight," Girardi said, via the team's Twitter account.

The Rangers went 1-1 without Girardi, falling to the Devils and beating the Islanders, and will gladly welcome him back as he's a valuable part of their defense. He's averaging 24:55 of ice time and is as durable as they get as he has missed just four games in his NHL career, including these past two.

Girardi told reporters Friday that his unspecified injury had been feeling better but was still nagging at him. He tried to return for Thursday's win against the Islanders, but knew right away during morning skate that he wouldn't be able to go. Girardi skated Friday and Sunday morning in preparation to come back.

With his return, the Rangers will be able to field a full lineup as forwards Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider recently returned from injuries too. The Rangers will look to go above. 500 for the first time this season when they lost the Lightning, whom they bested on Feb. 2 in Tampa.