Rangers coach Gerard Gallant opted to start backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres, no doubt trying to find a way to get Georgiev in some kind of rhythm after the 25-year-old Russian played well in his most recent start, a shootout win over the Devils the previous Sunday.
But after Georgiev allowed four goals on 18 shots in two periods, Gallant decided to pull him in favor of Igor Shesterkin to start the third period in the Rangers’ 5-4 victory.
Asked why he made the change, Gallant didn’t say much. "Nothing. Just a coach’s decision,’’ he said.
Georgiev has allowed 20 goals in his five starts (plus one relief appearance).
Defenseman Libor Hajek’s two-week conditioning assignment to AHL Hartford expired and the Rangers recalled the 23-year-old Czech from the minors before Sunday’s game.
"He hadn’t played,’’ Gallant said of Hajek, who agreed to go to Hartford. "He went down there and worked hard. He had some games under his belt, so we’ll see where it goes.’’
Hajek did not play Sunday, meaning he was scratched for the 13th time. He still has yet to play a game for the Rangers this season.
He played five games for Hartford, collecting two assists and six penalty minutes and posting a plus/minus rating of plus-3.
Reaves plays 700th game
Forward Ryan Reaves played in his 700th game and earned an assist on K’Andre Miller’s goal that made it 4-4 . . . Defenseman Jarred Tinordi was the only change to the lineup from Thursday’s game in Toronto. He entered the lineup in place of rookie Nils Lundkvist. Center Greg McKegg was the other scratch. He has not played since being recalled from Hartford on Nov. 16 . . . The Rangers wore special white-and-purple "Hockey Fights Cancer’’ jerseys and had sticks with special "Hockey Fights Cancer’’ tape on them during warmups. The jerseys and sticks will be auctioned off, with net proceeds going to the Northwell Health Foundation and the Garden of Dreams Foundation.