ST. PAUL, Minn. - The schedule, not the opponent or how Henrik Lundqvist has been playing, determined why he'll start Friday night in Winnipeg and Sunday against the Sharks in a Madison Square Garden matinee.
"It's about the fact that we have four games in six nights," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're playing in Winnipeg Friday, then a 4 o'clock game on Sunday, and we just travel on Saturday. So the goaltender that I'm going to play on Sunday, in theory, since we're not going to practice, should play [Friday night]. It's just simple logic."
Lundqvist, one win from tying Mike Richter's franchise record of 301, did not play in the 5-2 loss to the Jets on Dec. 2 and was pulled for Martin Biron after 29 minutes in the third game of the season in San Jose, a 9-2 loss, after allowing four goals on 26 shots.
After being given crunch-time minutes in the 3-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday, Derek Dorsett was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in six games. Daniel Carcillo, who wasn't in the lineup against the Hurricanes, dressed Thursday night.
"Dorse played a real good game," Vigneault said. "In the last seven or eight minutes, I went down to nine forwards and he was in those nine forwards . . . But our fourth line and our balance has looked a little bit better with Boyler [Brian Boyle] and [Dominic] Moore and Dan."
"It's nothing that Dorse has done wrong. He got hurt, somebody else had an opportunity and they seemed to run with it."
Ryan Haggerty, who scored 28 goals for RPI as a junior and was signed Wednesday, will join the team Sunday but won't play immediately. "I don't know him at all," Vigneault said. "Gorts [assistant GM Jeff Gorton] has talked very highly of him, and one of the conditions [in signing an entry-level deal] was that he'd be coming in, so we'll meet him and see what happens." . . . Justin Falk and Raphael Diaz were healthy scratches.