New York Rangers to Play Without Top Goalie Hendrik Lundqvist for 2-3 Weeks
The New York Rangers will play the next two to three weeks without starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who sustained an injury in the first period of their 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers Tuesday.
"I know exactly when it happened," said Lundqvist, who stayed in the game and finished with 43 saves. "Now it's about how you deal with it and make the most of these next two weeks, training and rest and try to come back on top of things."
If everything goes as planned, NHL.com reported that Lundqvist will make his return in time for the Rangers' three-game California road trip from March 25 to 28. If not, he could return against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on March 31.
Lundqvist is 30-17-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .913 save percentage in 49 starts. He appeared in 26 of 29 games, starting 25, from Dec. 31 through March 7.
"Right now I'm just focusing on the next week to 10 days," Lundqvist said. "We have a good plan here of what I need to do, and from there you take it step by step and see how it feels."
Antti Raanta will start for the 20th time in Lundqvist's place. The Rangers also recalled Magnus Hellberg from Hartford of the American Hockey League to serve as backup.
Raanta is 13-6-0 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He could start the next six games, though they come as three sets of back-to-backs. "In today's game, and especially in a year like this year with the condensed schedule, you definitely need two goaltenders that can play," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Rangers are fourth in the Metropolitan Division with a 43-23-2 record. They also hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference and could face the winner of the Atlantic Division in the first round.
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