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Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist is fresh but happy to get night off

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) in

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) in the net during an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It's down time for Henrik Lundqvist, who is not slated to start his seventh game of the season until Thursday night against Arizona.

"I don't feel the schedule has been that tough," said Lundqvist, who leads the NHL in shots against (189) and saves (176). "I feel pretty fresh, pretty good. But when you do get a night off, you hope for a great result."

Lundqvist watched Antti Raanta record a shutout Monday night in the Rangers' 4-0 victory over the Sharks.

"It's been good for me to see a lot of action early on. There was a long break for the summer and I wanted to get into a nice flow," Lundqvist said. "At the same time, Antti needs to play so we can get two guys going."

Alain Vigneault has said several times that he wants to limit Lundqvist to between 60 and 65 games to keep him fresh for a potential playoff run. Lundqvist, who played only 46 games last season because of a blood vessel injury in his neck, played all 19 postseason games.

Lundqvist, 33, who has made 626 appearances since the 2005-06 season and is the franchise leader in wins, shutouts and save percentage and postseason appearances, wins and save percentage, said he didn't offer any advice to Raanta. Said Lundqvist, "He's been playing so many games in the league and in Finland at a high level, you don't need to tell him how to think or how to feel."

Blue notes

Vigneault said although off-season training for four players was interrupted by injuries (Ryan McDonagh, foot fracture) or offseason surgeries (Marc Staal, ankle; Dan Girardi, ankle, and Derick Brassard, wrist), "they are not using that as an excuse and neither are we." . . . The Rangers entered Monday night 1-1-1 at the Garden; the Sharks were 3-1-0 on the road . . . The Rangers' healthy scratches were Tanner Glass, Emerson Etem and Dylan McIlrath.

New York Sports