RALEIGH, N.C. — For the first time in his Rangers career, Henrik Lundqvist was a healthy scratch on Friday. And it came against the Hurricanes, a team he typically dominates. He has a 33-12-1 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .934 save percentage against Carolina.
Lundqvist had served as the backup for eight straight games, behind either Igor Shesterkin or Alexandar Georgiev. Lundqvist, who last started Feb. 3, wanted to put in some extra work on the ice at the morning skate and work out off-ice as well. Because of that, he and coach David Quinn agreed that Georgiev should back up Shesterkin, who started his second straight game as the Rangers beat the Hurricanes, 5-2.
“He actually did more work than Georgie [at the morning skate], so he actually came to me and said, ‘Why don’t you have Georgie back up tonight?’ ’’ Quinn said. “So that was strictly Hank’s decision.’’
This is the team’s Moms’ Trip, and Quinn said he’s enjoying it. “If things go well tonight, we might extend this trip,’’ he quipped before the game. “They’re a lot of fun to be around.’’
Filip Chytil left the game in the third period with what Quinn said was an “upper-body injury.’’ He didn’t know if Chytil will be available for Saturday’s game.
Right wing Julien Gauthier, whom the Rangers acquired from Carolina for defenseman Joey Keane on Tuesday, played his second game as a Ranger against the team that picked him in the first round of the 2016 draft. “It’s just another game,’’ he said. “I’m just happy to be a New York Ranger now and that’s what it is.’’
Lundqvist, Greg McKegg and Brendan Smith were the Rangers’ scratches. McKegg, Gauthier and Phillip DiGiuseppe are former Hurricanes. The Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Hurricanes.