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Quinn: It wasn't Lundqvist's fault

Rangers coach says his team didn't play well enough in front of Henrik, who was pulled after two periods in loss to Islanders.

New York Rangers center Ryan Spooner (23) and

New York Rangers center Ryan Spooner (23) and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) fight for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday Oct. 25, 2018, in Chicago. Photo Credit: AP/Matt Marton

One game after earning his 437th career win, tying Jacques Plante for seventh place on the all-time wins list, Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after two periods Thursday night, having allowed five goals on 17 shots in the Rangers’ 7-5 loss to the Islanders at Barclays Center.

But coach David Quinn said he didn’t pull Lundqvist because he played poorly.

“It had nothing to do with him, for sure,’’ Quinn said. “I mean, I don’t think he had a chance on any of them, but, you know, you change things up a little bit. You kind of don’t want to subject him to the way we were defending in front of him more than anything. And maybe a goalie change inspires your team. It certainly had nothing to do with Hank.’’

Alexandar Georgiev played the third period and allowed one goal on six shots.

Oops, my mistake

Mika Zibanejad got a double-minor for high-sticking Leo Komarov at 15:29 of the second period. The Rangers killed the penalties but never should have had to do it. It was Valtteri Filppula’s stick that cut Islanders teammate Komarov, not Zibanejad’s.

One of the referees skated over to talk to Quinn after the call. “Yeah, he came over and apologized’’ for getting the call wrong, Quinn said. “Whoop-de-do.’’

Spooner benched

Ryan Spooner started Monday’s game on the first line and top power play for the Rangers. By the end of the second period, he was on the fourth line, and by the end of the game, he was on the bench. On Thursday, he was out of the lineup altogether, a healthy scratch for the second time this season.

“You know, everybody kind of goes through that in their career,’’ Quinn said when asked about Spooner, who has one goal and one assist. “He’s had a lot of success in this league. You’re not going to have a great year every year in your career.

“This is a year where he’s maybe off to a start that he’s not happy with, but you know, he’s going to be a contributor for us for sure.”

The other scratch was defenseman Brendan Smith.


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