DETROIT — Henrik Lundqvist, who is expected to miss two to three weeks with a hip strain suffered against the Panthers on Tuesday, has been shut down for 72 hours “to let the hip calm down, then start rehab,” coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday.
Vigneault said his decision on whether to start Antti Raanta moving forward “is on a game-to-game basis . . . we’ll see how he feels.”
It was not clear before Sunday’s game whether Raanta would be back in the crease on Monday against Tampa Bay at Madison Square Garden. Magnus Hellberg has not started an NHL game but appeared in three.
Raanta had one previous appearance against the Red Wings, on April 9, 2016, a win at the Garden, when he stopped 31 of 33 shots.
There was positive news for one of the Rangers’ two sidelined defensemen, and a puzzling situation for the other.
“My understanding is that Dan [Girardi] is going to see a specialist tomorrow, the [ankle] wound is progressing well, I would expect him to be on skates in the next couple days,” Vigneault said. Girardi missed Sunday night’s game and will sit for Monday’s against the Lightning as well, bringing the total to eight.
Girardi has played only 56 games this season — the fewest in the past eight non-lockout years.
Kevin Klein, who has been hobbled by back spasms since Feb. 23. is still not on the ice. An MRI showed no issues. “Just off-ice workouts,” Vigneault said. “It’s got to be more than a spasm, no?”
Lightning struck by injuries
The Lightning, which is three points behind the Maple Leafs for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, are 7-2-1 in the last 10, although three of their centers — Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette — had to be helped off the ice Thursday. But they managed to edge the Panthers, 3-2, on Saturday without them. The Rangers have won the two previous meetings this season.