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At the Rink: Bruins at Rangers

by Mike G. Morreale

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will not be in the lineup against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET) because of a neck injury related to the throat injury he sustained Saturday.

"We don't know how long he'll be out but the injury is related to the injury he had over the weekend," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said after the morning skate Wednesday. Lundqvist is considered day-to-day.

Lundqvist was hit in the throat by a shot 3:02 into the second period Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. He received treatment on the ice from the Rangers medical staff but stayed in the game. He had 31 saves in the Rangers' 4-1 victory but said afterward that he felt light-headed and was experiencing headaches for the remainder of the game.

He had 33 saves Monday in a 6-3 victory against the Florida Panthers. When Lundqvist spoke to reporters after the game he showed no signs of the injury.

Vigneault said he learned of Lundqvist's injury Tuesday night.

Cam Talbot, who is 4-4-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, will get the start Wednesday. It will be his first game since Jan. 15, when he made 29 saves in a 3-0 loss to the Bruins.

The Rangers recalled Mackenzie Skapski from Hartford of the American Hockey League to be the backup.

Vigneault said he is comfortable with Talbot starting again against the Bruins.

"I'm very comfortable with him; the whole team is comfortable," Vigneault said. "After an average start to the season he came through with three shutouts in a row and has given us a chance to win every game since. He's a hard-working young man and I'm sure he'll be fine."

Bruins forward Milan Lucic, who has missed the past two practices with the flu, is expected to be in the lineup, according to Bruins coach Claude Julien.

"He's on his way and he's feeling better so it's projected right now he'll play," Julien said.

Julien said the Bruins' game plan does not change because Talbot will be in net for the Rangers. The Bruins have won eight of their past 10 games (8-1-1).

"We never change our game plan based on a goalie," Julien said. "You always want net-front presence, always want shots on net. It doesn't matter who is in; sometimes it's hard to win against another goalie but I know Talbot's been a really good goalie for them. I've seen him; he's solid guy so there's no reason to leave our guard down."

Bruins center David Krejci agreed.

"Lundqvist didn't play against us in the earlier game in Boston [Jan. 15]," Krejci said. "We don't prepare ourselves for the goalie; maybe a little but our game plan is 5-on-5. Once it comes off the goalie you have to make some traffic in front and if he can't see the puck he can't stop it so it doesn't matter who is in the net.

"Obviously, [Lundqvist] is one of the best goaltenders in the League but it is what it is. He's not in the lineup so we'll have to make sure we create traffic in front of the goalie."

Since March 24, 2007, all but three of the 28 regular-season games between the Rangers and the Bruins have been decided by two or fewer goals; 21 of those games were decided by one goal.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Reilly Smith

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Dennis SeidenbergAdam McQuaid

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Malcolm Subban

Injured: None

Scratched: Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron


Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis

Chris Kreider - Kevin Hayes - Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin - Derick Brassard - Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Kevin Klein

John Moore - Dan Boyle

Cam Talbot

Mackenzie Skapski

Scratched: J.T. Miller, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (upper body)

Status report: Eriksson, who had been battling a stiff neck after taking a hit late in the third period of a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, was at practice Wednesday and will play. … Caron, who skated with Krejci and Smith in Lucic's absence the past two days, likely will be a a healthy scratch.

Who's hot: Rask is 7-1-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in his past nine games. … Nash has three goals in the past two games and is tied for first in the NHL with 31 goals this season.


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