In a corresponding roster move, the Rangers have recalled goalie Magnus Hellberg from their AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack. Hellberg will serve as the backup to Antti Raanta, who will start tonight versus the Detroit Red Wings and has started in Lundqvist’s absence on several other occasions.
The Rangers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday 4-3, and Raanta started that game while being backed-up by goalie Brandon Halverson. Halverson was however assigned back to the ECHL on Friday to clear way for the promotion of Hellberg.
New York’s upcoming schedule includes three back-to-back games, meaning that Hellberg could see a start or two during that stretch to ensure that Raanta is able to have some rest included in. Hellberg has appeared in 3 career NHL games, but has yet to start one.
With 14 games remaining for the Rangers in the regular season, it seems likely that Lundqvist will return in time for the team’s run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. New York currently sits 4th in the Metropolitan with 88 points, trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Washington Capitals.
Seeing that they ranked 4th in the division, the Rangers hold the 1st wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, while the New York Islanders hold the 2nd, and the Rangers have a pretty good grasp on the top wild card spot, as they lead the Islanders by 13 points for it.
Lundqvist, 35, has a record of 30-17-2 this season, and has posted a .913 save percentage this season, including 2 shutouts to add to his career total 61 shutouts. Raanta is 13-6 on the season with a .922 save percentage and 3 shutouts.
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