SAN JOSE, Calif. - Rick Nash, who has 26 goals and 15 assists in 39 games, was the only Ranger selected for the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 25.
When the NHL announced the roster Saturday night, Henrik Lundqvist was not among the goalies selected. Lundqvist, who owns a 20-8-3 record and five shutouts and entered last night's 3-1 victory over the Sharks with a 2.30 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, had been chosen in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
"I'm planning on a break," he said. "The competition is tough and I've only been playing really well for the last month and a half. I can use the time to rest, be with my family and reload for the second half."
It will be the sixth All-Star appearance and first since 2011 for Nash, a former captain of the Blue Jackets who was acquired by the Rangers on July 24, 2012. "It's definitely a fun weekend to be part of, but you owe it to the guys in the dressing room who don't get recognized for the reason why you're there," said Nash, who is tied with the Stars' Tyler Seguin for the NHL goal-scoring lead.
Nash was drafted by the Blue Jackets, played nine seasons for them and still lives in Columbus in the offseason. "It'll be nice to spend some time there in the middle of the season if all goes well," he said. "It's a special place for me, so to have it there is definitely a little extra."
It has been an eventful year for Nash, who became a first-time father in October, when his son McLaren was born.
Nash, who scored 26 goals last season, was sent to the Rangers in exchange for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick in 2013.
Lundqvist has won 11 of his last 12 starts and entered Saturday night with a 1.62 GAA and .936 save percentage in that span. But fans voted for Chicago's Corey Crawford as the starting goalie and the league chose Nashville's Pekka Rinne, Montreal's Carey Price, Detroit's Jimmy Howard, Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky and Florida's Roberto Luongo to fill out the 36-man pool.
Two captains will draft squads, a format that was changed in the 2010-11 season to replace the East-West All-Star Challenge.
Inthe 2012 game in Ottawa, Marian Gaborik and Dan Girardi were chosen along with Lundqvist, who won the Vezina Trophy that June. Gaborik, playing for Team Chara, which won 12-9, scored three goals, two of them against Lundqvist in the first period. Lundqvist and Girardi played for Team Alfredsson.
Nash scored a nifty goal, going top shelf on Tim Thomas on a rush in the third period for Team (Eric) Staal, which lost to Team Lidstrom in 2011. Five current Rangers played in that game: Nash, Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle (San Jose) and Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay).
In 2012, Carl Hagelin replaced the Devils' Adam Henrique, who had a groin injury, on the six-man rookie roster. No Rangers rookies were selected this season.
There was no game last season (NHL players attended the Winter Olympics in Sochi) or the previous season (because of the lockout).