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Rangers reportedly pursuing Ondrej Pavelec for backup goalie job

The Rangers' Chris Kreider celebrates after scoring against

The Rangers' Chris Kreider celebrates after scoring against Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / John Woods

The Rangers reportedly are close to finding a replacement for backup goalie Antti Raanta.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the team and representatives for Ondrej Pavelec were in discussions yesterday afternoon.

The Rangers will not comment on any talks. Pavelec’s agent, Allan Walsh, could not be reached for comment.

The Czech goaltender, 29, has a career mark of 152-158-47 with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

Pavelec was 4-4 in eight starts with the Winnipeg Jets last season as Connor Hellebuyck, 24, assumed the starting role. He was on injured reserve for about a month, starting in February, with a lower-body injury, believed to be a knee issue. Pavelec had a salary-cap charge of $3.9 million per season on a five-year deal that just ended, but he will sign with a new team for far less.

Pavelec, who is 6-3, would be expected to start 20 to 25 games as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup. He won at least 21 games for five consecutive seasons, first with the Atlanta Thrashers, before arriving in Winnipeg.

Raanta, who played well with the Rangers for two seasons, was traded to Arizona with Derek Stepan last week in exchange for the No. 7 overall pick in the draft (Lias Andersson) and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.

Shattenkirk set to pick team. Top unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has a number of options, including the Rangers, Devils and Bruins, will decide on a team this morning, a source said.— STEVE ZIPAY

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