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Brassard out for Rangers tonight, McIlrath to make NHL debut

Derick Brassard

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Derick Brassard #16 of the New York Rangers shoots the puck in overtime against the Washington Capitals in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will be sporting a new look tonight when they host Columbus at MSG.

Center Derick Brassard will miss his first game of the season -- with a “sore posterior,” according to head coach Alain Vigneault -- while rookie defenseman Dylan McIlrath will make his NHL debut.

McIlrath, 21, was the club’s first-round pick (1oth overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and has appeared in 23 games for the Wolf Pack this season, scoring three goals and seven points.

The towering defenseman (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) spent all of last year in the AHL but felt he had “a legitimate shot” of making the NHL this season. A tough, physical player that isn’t afraid to fight, McIlrath was dropped from the Rangers just prior to the end of training camp.

He was recalled yesterday.

Brassard, meanwhile, is considered day-to-day after taking a spill vs. Nashville on Tuesday. The 26-year-old has five goals and nine assists in 32 games this year.

In other Blueshirt lineup news, Justin Falk will be scratched so McIlrath can draw in, while Taylor Pyatt and Benoit Pouliot -- both healthy scratches recently -- will get back in the lineup.