Henrik Lundqvist skated with teammates this morning ahead of tonight’s game against the Kings and, afterward, told reporters he planned on playing this week.
Good timing, as the Rangers have plenty of opportunities for him to draw back in.
The Blueshirts will play four times over the next six nights: tonight at home against the Kings, Thursday in Ottawa, Saturday in Boston and then Sunday back at MSG, against the Capitals.
Per the New York Daily News, Lundqvist sounds to be targeting a weekend return. If that’s the case, two interesting options present themselves: 1) return Saturday against the Bruins at TD Garden in the first of a back-to-back, or 2) let Cam Talbot face the B’s and return on Sunday in front of the MSG faithful, against Metropolitan Division rival Washington.
Regardless of return date, there will be ample opportunities for Lundqvist to get back into full game shape prior to the playoffs. After this weekend, New York has seven games remaining in the regular season — four road, three home — which includes two pretty good tests against potential Western Conference playoff teams in the Jets (game is in Winnipeg on Mar. 31) and the Wild (game’s in Minnesota on April. 2.)
Lundqvist hasn’t played since Feb. 2 due to a vascular injury. The Rangers have thrived in his absence, going 17-3-3 and emerging as the favorite to capture their first Presidents’ Trophy since 1994.