McIlrath played 5:25 in the first, 6:28 in the second and only 3:45 in the third. He saw 13:35 at 5 on 5, while skating 9:41 with Keith Yandle, and 2:03 on the PK.
Larry Brooks says that McIlrath "seems to be ahead" of Diaz in the Rangers battle for the seventh defensemen. (NY Post)
Brooks notes that McIlrath's presence in the lineup could also bring the physical element that Tanner Glass does. (NY Post)
On how McIlrath has been, Alain Vigneault said, “he has played well. The last two periods of the Jersey game and tonight he has been very dependable on the ice. He has made some smart plays with the puck and it’s good to see.”
Adam Rotter: There is a lot less risk in placing Raphael Diaz on waivers than putting McIlrath on waivers but even so, McIlrath has played well enough to earn the 7th spot. It doesn't do a lot for him as a player to be a spare on most nights but it allows him to keep working with the coaching staff and be the first man up if there is an injury.
The Rangers can't afford to lose McIlrath for nothing on waivers and I don't see the point of a trade if he has played well enough to make the team. I think he will make the team and if he goes long stretches without playing the team can likely send him to Hartford on a two-week conditioning stint to get some games in.