Henrik Lundqvist, sidelined for the past two weeks due to a hip injury, will not be in the lineup tonight when the Rangers host the New York Islanders but he should be ready to make his return when the team hits the road this week for a west coast trip.
Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that backup Antti Raanta will get the start on Wednesday, but that Lundqvist “should” be ready to play two of the three games out west.
Following Wednesday’s game the Rangers visit the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. With the Kings and Ducks games coming as part of a back-to-back it seems logical to assume that one of those two games will be the one he sits.
Lundqvist was injured earlier this month in a win over the Florida Panthers and has been out of the lineup ever since. The Rangers have gone 2-2-2 in his absence with Raanta getting all of the playing time. Magnus Hellbeg had been serving as his backup.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Lundqvist as a mid-season slump saw him lose some playing time to Raanta. But before his recent injury he had been starting to return to his usual form with a save percentage north of .930 in his 14 appearances between February and March.
Raanta has been great filling in for Lundqvist this season, currently owning a .920 save percentage. Signed for $1 million per year through next season he has been a steal for the Rangers.