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Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers looking forward to challenging road trip

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist looks on after Calgary

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist looks on after Calgary Flames right wing Garnet Hathaway scores during the second period at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Henrik Lundqvist is feeling good both about his health and his team as the Rangers embark on a four-game road trip.

The 36-year-old Lundqvist had started seven of his team’s first eight games before taking a breather Tuesday night in the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The plan had been all along for coach David Quinn to start Alexandar Georgiev, but it also was good timing because Lundqvist had been bothered by a sore neck.

“I feel good. It was just a minor thing with my neck. I’ve been playing a lot of games lately,” Lundqvist said after Wednesday’s practice. “I could have played [Tuesday]. It was an opportunity for Georgie to get a game. He did great. He’s a great goalie. It was a great win for him and the team.”

Georgiev made 36 saves in his first start since returning from a weekend tune-up with the AHL team in Hartford. Quinn said Georgiev could get another start on the road trip, which begins in Chicago on Thursday and then continues on to Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim.

“Ideally, yeah, but we will go game by game,” Quinn said. “I don’t want to look too far ahead. [Georgiev] needs to play. We want him to play. He’s a good goalie.

“Hank has had a great start. He’s got a great mindset. He’s good physically. He’s one of the best goalies in the league. He’s been playing an awful lot. We need to be smart about his workload and also we want to keep Georgie involved.”

The Rangers (3-5-1) have yet to win on the road this season, so this is an important test for the team.

“It’s an opportunity to grow and improve and test our mettle a little bit, too,” Quinn said. “First road trip of this magnitude you find out a little bit about yourself.”

Lundqvist agrees.

“The biggest challenge will be facing good teams,” said Lundqvist, who has a 2.55 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. “It’s a good opportunity, good timing for this group to go on a road trip, get together, get a little closer. Sometimes when you go on a trip like this, you just get to know everybody a little bit better and get a little closer.

“We have a couple of new guys and we haven’t traveled much with this group. I think we look forward to that challenge.”

Notes & quotes: The Rangers announced they put forward Matt Beleskey on waivers.

New York Sports