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Rangers’ Chris Kreider nominated for Masterton Trophy

Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev keeps his eye on

Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev keeps his eye on the puck against the Buffalo Sabres on March 24, 2018. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Chris Kreider got blindsided Tuesday when he was informed by a reporter that he’d been chosen by the Rangers chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association as the Rangers’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which goes annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.’’

“You got none of those,’’ linemate Mika Zibanejad quipped. But Kreider, who missed 24 games this season after suffering through a blood clot and needing surgery to correct a problem in his ribs that required a resection, seemed touched by receiving the nomination.

“It’s an honor to be nominated,’’ he said. “It’s probably not the award you want to be nominated for — it meant you went through some stuff, but it’s an honor, especially considering all the guys who have been nominated and the guys who have won it in the past, and the stuff they’ve been through. I’m just hearing about it now, but it’s kind of cool, something to kind of hang your hat on. It’s obviously been a bit of a tough year.’’

Kreider, 26, has played in 52 games, scoring 15 goals with 21 assists.

Henrik back in

Henrik Lundqvist practiced and will return to the lineup Wednesday, when the Rangers visit Washington to take on the Capitals in the back end of a home-and-home set that started with the Caps’ 4-2 victory Monday in the Garden.

Lundqvist, who missed three games after taking a scary fall in the game against Columbus last week, said he felt ready to return over the weekend, but wanted one more hard practice before getting back into the lineup.

With Ondrej Pavelec healthy, Alexandar Georgiev was sent down to AHL Hartford. Georgiev allowed three goals on six shots in the first period on Monday and was replaced by Pavelec.

“Hank’s ready to play, so we’d like to get him back playing,’’ Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said. “(Georgiev)’s done really well, he’s acquitted himself well. He’s been a good find for us, a good story, and he’ll continue down there (to Hartford) and play and get better.’’

Georgiev, a 22-year-old rookie, appeared in 10 games with the Rangers, going 4-4-1, with a 3.15 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Shattenkirk shut down

Gorton also said defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who had been trying to return from knee surgery and was hoping to play before the season ended, has been shut down. There’s been no setback, Gorton said.

“We’re approaching the end of the season, with six games to go and we thought that maybe the risk isn’t really worth it at this point,’’ Gorton said.

New York Sports