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Henrik Lundqvist passes Nikolai Khabibulin with his 800th NHL appearance

Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers defends the net

Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers defends the net late in the third period against the Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 18, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

SUNRISE, Fla. — Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled from Thursday’s 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay, was back in net against Florida on Saturday. It was his 800th NHL appearance, making him the all-time leader in career appearances by a goaltender from outside North America. The record of 799 had been held by Nikolai Khabibulin.

Lundqvist, the league leader in games played this season by a goalie (58), entered Saturday with a 25-23-5 record, a 2.92 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. Entering Saturday, he was 430-272-81 with a 2.36 GAA and a .919 save percentage in his career.

Kreider in, Desharnais out

Chris Kreider, who sat out the final two periods of Thursday’s game in Tampa against the Lightning, was in the lineup, but fourth-line center David Desharnais was out after experiencing problems with kidney stones in the morning, according to coach Alain Vigneault.

Peter Holland took Desharnais’ place in the lineup and played on the fourth line with Paul Carey and Cody McLeod. Vigneault shuffled the other three lines, dropping Pavel Buchnevich from the Mika Zibanejad line to a third unit with Vladislav Namestnikov and Jimmy Vesey, moving Mats Zuccarello to the right of Ryan Spooner and Kevin Hayes, and putting Jesper Fast with Kreider and Zibanejad.

Vigneault said Buchnevich has not produced much of late.

“In the last two games, five-on-five, Buchy didn’t do much, didn’t generate as much as he can,’’ Vigneault said. “He had some opportunities, I felt, to make some plays with the puck [and] wasn’t able to make those. He’s a talented young man and he’s trying to put his game together.

“It’s the NHL. It’s the best league. Every player goes through, in a season, some ups and downs. But we think Buchy’s got a high skill level and we’re working with him to put it all together.’’

New York Sports