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Rangers' Vigneault defends decision to start Talbot

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 5:47 PM | Tal Pinchevsky  - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault stood by his decision to start rookie goaltender Cam Talbot for the second time in 24 hours instead of No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Talbot stopped 24 shots Sunday in a 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild and Vigneault decided to ride his hot hand.

"I felt Cam played a good game for us last night and just [made the decision to] go with him," Vigneault said before the Rangers' game Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

In 11 appearances, Talbot is 7-2-0 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average. The Rangers have also averaged 2.78 goals per game in Talbot's nine starts, compared to 2.15 in Lundqivst's 27 starts.

Vigneault refused to say he was resting Lundqvist to give him an emotional or physical break. The Rangers' franchise goaltender, who signed a seven-year extension on Dec. 4, appeared hurt but remained in the game following a collision with Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins this past Wednesday.

"We’re playing back-to-back, four games in six nights," Vigneault said. "My focus right now is on what we need to do on the ice to beat a very good team. And we'll leave it at that, there."

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