Out of necessity, the New York Rangers went to their back-up goalie Cam Talbot for Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game against the Boston Bruins.
Henrik Lundqvist, who took a puck to the throat on Saturday, is dealing with a neck injury and is now listed as day-to-day. So the Rangers turned to Talbot, who turned aside 18 of 20 shots faced in a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.
The Rangers are in Nashville to face the Predators on Saturday. According to Andrew Gross of The Record, citing head coach Alain Vigneault, it’s possible Lundqvist does not accompany the team on that trip.
Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston, with the goals coming 1:52 apart in the first period. That was it for the Bruins. They couldn’t get another by Talbot, who only faced the 20 shots on goal, even though Boston had 52 shot attempts, according to hockeystats.ca.
Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan scored for New York in the second period, erasing the Bruins’ lead, while Rick Nash recorded his 32nd goal of the season.
“We’re going to need him to continue to step in when he needs to and make his saves…Play the way he did tonight,” said Stepan of Talbot, as per Gross.
The Rangers have now won three in a row, and that has tightened the race for the Metropolitan Division.
The Rangers, New York Islanders and division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated Edmonton on Wednesday, are all now separated by just two points.
The New York Rangers had the lead, then within the span of less than two minutes, they were trailing the Boston Bruins late in the first period on Rivalry Night.
Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored just 1:52 apart, turning a Bruins deficit into a Bruins 2-1 lead, which they carried into the second period. Rick Nash opened the scoring for New York, recording his 32nd goal of the season.
Cam Talbot got the start in net for the Rangers, with Henrik Lundqvist (throat) out of action.
Despite the Bruins jumping out to that quick lead toward the end of the period, it’s worth noting they managed only five shots on goal compared to 12 for New York in the opening 20 minutes.
Updated: Just seconds after this clip was posted, the Rangers tied this game up at 2-2 on a goal from Derick Brassard.
Henrik Lundqvist has a “neck injury” and his status is considered “day-to-day.”
The Rangers provided the update this afternoon via Twitter, adding that “further updates will be provided when more info is available.”
It was announced earlier in the day that Lundqvist would be held out of tonight’s game versus the Bruins, with Cam Talbot getting the start instead.
“Hank won’t be available tonight,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. “He has an upper-body injury that we are investigating right now.”
Lundqvist took a shot up high in Saturday’s game versus Carolina…
…and while Lundqvist managed to stay in the game and then play Monday versus Florida, Vigneault confirmed that the injury was “related” to that shot.
Obviously, not the greatest news for the Rangers. But at the very least, “day-to-day” suggests the injury isn’t overly serious.
Some potentially troubling news out of New York — starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who yesterday was tabbed to start tonight’s Rivalry Night game versus Boston on NBCSN, has been yanked from his assignment due to an upper-body injury related to his throat:
Cam Talbot will get the nod instead, per Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault — who added that New York is “investigating” Lundqvist’s injury, which likely occurred during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Carolina:
Lundqvist finished that contest — strongly too, stopping 31 of 32 shots — and was in net again for Monday’s 6-3 win over Florida. That said, the veteran netminder did admit to feeling “lightheaded” during the Carolina game, and experienced headaches in the third period.
Vigneault shot down the notion Lundqvist suffered a concussion on the play, but it’s worth noting the Swedish netminder took a maintenance day on Tuesday.
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden at 8:00 p.m. ET today. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
It wasn’t pretty during significant stretches of the 2014-15 season, but the Boston Bruins are looking like the Bruins team many expected to be one of the East’s top squads once again. The New York Rangers had their own issues before righting the ship this season, so tonight’s game stands as a nice gauge of where each franchise is as of early February.
Tuukka Rask stands out the most during Boston’s bombastic run.
The Finnish goalie is a big reason why Boston is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games. The 27-year-old has only allowed three goals once since Jan. 4. He finished last month with a brilliant .949 save percentage that strongly implies that he’s back to his Vezina form after some rare stumbles.
The Rangers really aren’t that far behind the Bruins, especially if you look back to early December.
New York is 18-5-0 in its past 23 contests, and while the Rangers are currently ranked third in the Metropolitan Division, they can take a slim lead if they win the two games they have in hand on the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Even after taking a puck to the throat, Henrik Lundqvist was game enough to help the Rangers beat the Florida Panthers on Monday. Both the Rangers and Bruins are currently on two-game winning streaks.
Milan Lucic is expected to shake off his flu-like symptoms and play, so Boston should be close to full strength. The Rangers hope to see Rick Nash & Co. stay sharp even against elite competition in the likes of Patrice Bergeron.
Boston took a Jan. 15 match between the two teams by a score of 3-0, so we’ll see if the Rangers get a little revenge or if the Bruins continue to strengthen their hold on a wildcard spot.