Here are three rental goalies New York could target with Lundqvist out


Following reports that Henrik Lundqvist will be out “at least” a month with a neck injury, it seems likely that Rangers GM Glen Sather will bring in a veteran netminder to his goaltending group, which currently consists of Cam Talbot (33 career games) and MacKenzie Skapski (zero).

So, here are some options:

Jonas Gustavsson, Detroit
Contract: In last of one-year, $1.85M deal

The emergence of 22-year-old Petr Mrazek — 12-4-1 this year, .912 save percentage, 2.50 GAA — has resulted in a crowded Red Wings crease; right now it’s Mrazek and Gustavsson in Detroit with No. 1 Jimmy Howard targeting a Feb. 11 return.

(Don’t forget former first-round pick Thomas McCollum, who’s been solid this year in both Detroit and Grand Rapids.)

Assuming Mrazek is Howard’s heir apparent, Gustavsson seems like the odd man out moving forward and, as far as stopgap replacements go, he’d be good one. “The Monster” has only made three big-league appearances this year but, last season, went an impressive 16-5-4 for the Wings and started two playoff games after Howard went down to injury.

(Of course, for this to happen Detroit would essentially be agreeing to help out a potential Eastern Conference playoff opponent… which could be a reach.)

Jason LaBarbera, Anaheim
Contract: In last of one-year, $750,000 deal

A well-traveled veteran that played under Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, LaBarbera has made five appearances for Anaheim this season and performed reasonably well, going 2-0-1 with a .909 save percentage and 2.61 GAA.

Though he’s spent the majority of this season in AHL Norfolk, the 35-year-old has nearly 200 games of NHL experience and actually played for Sather — LaBarbera made four appearances for the Rangers in 2003-04, when Slats was the head coach.

Michael Leighton, Chicago
Contract: In last of one-year, $900,000 deal

Though he’s yet to play in the NHL this season, the 33-year-old journeyman has been one of the American League’s top netminders in ’14-15, going 12-7-4 with a 2.01 GAA and .931 save percentage.

Leighton, who backstopped Philadelphia en route to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, doesn’t project to have much of a future with the Blackhawks; Corey Crawford’s locked in as the starter, the club is high on Antti Raanta as a potential No. 2 and Scott Darling showed this season he’s capable of playing at the NHL level.

Report: Rangers lose Lundqvist for ‘at least’ a month (Updated)


Uh oh.

On Friday, the New York Post reported that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist — who was pulled from Wednesday’s scheduled start versus Boston with an upper-body ailment — will be out for at least one month with a neck injury.

UPDATE: It’s a “vascular injury,” per the club

Henrik Lundqvist suffered a vascular injury on Saturday. We have been conferring with leading medical experts to ensure the best possible care. Henrik will remain sidelined at least three weeks, until he is revaluated and we have completed the process of conferring with the medical experts.

The veteran netminder was initially hurt during Saturday’s win over Carolina, on this play:

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.

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault shot down the notion Lundqvist suffered a concussion on the play but, on Wednesday, said the club was “investigating” what was ailing the Swedish ‘tender.

More, from the Post:

The goaltender, who had been experiencing intermittent headaches, underwent a series of tests and exams on Wednesday, the results of which are known by the Rangers but have not been shared.

Sources have told The Post that Lundqvist did not develop a blood clot, nor is he is suffering from nerve damage or post-concussion symptoms.

This injury will really test New York’s mettle. Lundqvist has been remarkably durable and a constant presence during his 10-year career with the Rangers and is routinely a lock for 60-plus games per season. What’s more, the depth behind him is questionable: Cam Talbot has been one of the NHL’s better backups over the last two seasons, but he still only has 33 career appearances on his resume; third-stringer MacKenzie Skapski is 20 years old and in his first professional season.

In praise of Steve Mason


The Philadelphia Flyers are having a tough season. Even after four straight wins, their chances of making the playoffs remain slim.

That being said, we’d be remiss to overlook the season Steve Mason is enjoying in goal. In 30 starts, his .924 save percentage ranks 6th in the NHL, which puts him ahead of the likes of Semyon Varlamov (.923), Henrik Lundqvist (.922), and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Tuukka Rask (.921).

And lest we forget, Mason doesn’t have the “he plays behind a great defense” advantage going for him. Ask anyone; the Flyers’ blue line is decidedly not great.

Mason’s career has not been without its highs and lows. The 26-year-old has gone from winning the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 with Columbus to people wondering if he’s even capable of playing in the league anymore to joining the Flyers and rediscovering his confidence again.

“Early in his career he might have enjoyed reading things about how well he was playing in this league and stuff,” said former Jackets teammate and current Flyer R.J. Umberger, per the Courier Post.

“I think now he knows he can be better and continue to be better. I think the highs aren’t too high for him and the lows aren’t too low. It’s an old saying, but I think it’s really true. Right now it seems like he’s really confident walking around with the confidence that he should have.”

Mason will get another start tonight against one of the best offensive teams in the league, the New York Islanders.

His last outing was a 30-save shutout of the Leafs.

Video: Talbot backstops Rangers to victory over Bruins


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

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.

Video: Bruins score twice in 1:52 to take the lead from Rangers (Updated)


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.