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Report: Wheeler, Chytil on ice at optional skate for Rangers ahead of Eastern Conference Final

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All of the New York Rangers' forwards were on the ice at an optional skate on Sunday, according to The Athletic's Peter Baugh, including Filip Chytil and Blake Wheeler.

Chytil has played in only one game - Game 3 of the second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes - since Nov. 2. He suffered a concussion that kept him out of the lineup for over five months. After playing in Game 3, Chytil was withheld from the lineup for the rest of the series due to illness and soreness.

Wheeler has not played since Feb. 15 against the Montreal Canadiens, where he suffered a leg injury that required a stint on LTIR. He has been skating with the team for over a week.

As Baugh reports, this is the first time Wheeler has skated without a red non-contact jersey since February. 

Wheeler, 37, scored nine goals and tallied 21 points in the regular season, while Chytil contributed six assists in 10 games this season.

Head coach Peter Laviolette was non-committal as to whether his forward group would be ready to go for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, but he said "We're working toward that."

Defencemen Adam Fox and K'Andre Miller were not present for the optional skate, according to Baugh.

The Rangers last advanced to the Conference Final two seasons ago, where they were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team seeks its first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2014, and its first Stanley Cup title since 1994.