The Garden held a moment of silence before Sunday night’s 1-0 Rangers win over the Hurricanes to honor fallen NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. The arena lay somber and still as photos of the late police officers were displayed on the Jumbotron.
Afterward, four NYPD officers stepped onto the ice presenting the nation’s colors and received a thunderous, standing, half-minute ovation. The Rangers and Hurricanes coaches and players applauded and tapped their sticks against the boards.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, the son of a firefighter and younger brother of a police officer from Minnesota, was proud of – but not surprised by – how the team and the fans handled the moment.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” McDonagh said of the tribute. “This is a great organization, this is a great city, and a great community. Everyone understands the importance of police officers, firemen, everybody who sacrifices their lives every day for our well-being. It’s unfortunate this had to happen, but I’m glad we were able to do that.”
Rangers forward Lee Stempniak remained quarantined on Sunday for the fifth and final day of his isolation for a suspected case of mumps. Even if Stempniak is confirmed to have the viral infection, though, he conceivably could be available for Tuesday night’s home game against the Washington Capitals.
Center Derick Brassard, one of two previous Rangers to contract mumps along with left wing Tanner Glass, returned for game action on Saturday just seven days after his isolation began. Brassard logged 18 minutes in Saturday’s win in Raleigh and then put six shots on goal in centering the Rangers’ best line in Sunday’s victory.
Brassard missed two games due to mumps. Glass missed four games from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. Stempniak has missed two so far.
Vigneault’s lineup was unchanged for Sunday’s game other than switching goaltenders, so defenseman Matt Hunwick played and John Moore was a healthy scratch for the third straight game and the fifth time in 10 matches.
MOBILE USERS: WATCH VIDEO OF GARDEN’S NYPD HONOR HERE
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