The “minor issue” that’s kept Henrik Lundqvist out of practice this week is more major than first thought.
On Wednesday, the Rangers announced that Lundqvist would miss Thursday’s game in Philadelphia, paving the way for 26-year-old Cam Talbot to make his NHL debut against the Flyers.
“[Lundqvist] is not playing tomorrow,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault told the New York Daily News. “Cam’s going tomorrow. I’ve already told him today at practice. [Lundqvist] is not going to be the backup either.
“If this would have been a playoff game, he’d probably be playing. It’s something that’s day-to-day that we think we can nip it in the bud. It might take one more day, maybe two, but it’s something he should be able to turn the page on and you won’t hear about it anymore.”
Vigneault added Lundqvist’s injury is “something he’s had for, I want to say, maybe 10 days. But it wasn’t anything significant. He played real well in Washington, and it acted up a little bit after the Jersey game.”
As for Talbot, Thursday’s start marks the latest in his unlikely ascension from the University of Alabama-Huntsville. An undrafted free agent, he signed with the Rangers in 2010 and spent three years grooming in the AHL.
The 2012-13 campaign marked Talbot’s finest at the professional level, as he finished 25-28-1 with a 2.63 GAA and .918 save percentage with the Whale.
Talbot’s backup with be Jason Missiaen. The pair got into the mix after the Rangers placed Martin Biron on waivers last week — after clearing, he opted to retire rather than report to the American League.