By Justin Tasch
WASHINGTON – Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff was not with the team for its game Wednesday after suffering a concussion and a gash on the back of his head when his head hit the ice on a fall as he came out for Tuesday's practice.
"We're not sure if he stepped on a puck or a puck hit him, but he hit his head on the ice," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had to take him off the ice. He went to the hospital.
"He's got a pretty big gash with some stitches in the back of his head. He's been diagnosed with a concussion, so he's going to be out for a couple of days. He should be back (Thursday) and fine. I talked to him (Tuesday) night, I talked to him again today. He's back to his perky self. He was just a little dazed yesterday. It was just an unfortunate accident."
Ruff joined Vigneault's coaching staff this season as a defensive assistant after parts of 19 seasons as a head coach, 15 with Buffalo and four with Dallas.
Scott Arniel, normally the offensive/power play assistant, took Ruff's responsibilities for Wednesday's game while Darryl Williams came down from the perch to behind the bench. Hartford assistant coach Pat Boller was with the team Wednesday to be its fifth coach, working with the goalies and extras in the morning.