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Henrik Lundqvist of Rangers resumes skating

New York goaltender could return from hip injury by next weekend, if not sooner

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has resumed skating with goalie coach Benoit Allaire, coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday.

Lundqvist has missed three games with a muscle strain in his hip. 

"He's feeling a lot better," Vigneault said. "He's going through the on-ice process right now with [Benoit]. That's a very important position, so we've got to make sure he's 100 percent."

The Rangers ruled Lundqvist out 2-3 weeks, putting him on schedule to return during their three-game California road trip that begins at the Los Angeles Kings on March 25. Vigneault left open the possibility Lundqvist could return sooner.

Video: NYR@FLA: Lundqvist robs Jokinen with superb pad stop

"Originally that was our mindset, that we were thinking he should be ready for that, and we haven't changed," Vigneault said, "but I am saying to you he is feeling better, so we'll see how he is moving forward here."

Lundqvist was injured against the Florida Panthers on March 7. He made 43 saves in a 5-2 win.

Vigneault said Lundqvist got back on the ice with Allaire on Wednesday and skated before practice Thursday. He will join the Rangers for their morning skate prior to their game against the Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, FS-F, NHL.TV), and should skate Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 

The Rangers play at the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and at home against the New York Islanders on Wednesday before going to California.

"He's going to skate every day unless they feel they need to give him a rest, but I talked to him just before coming here and he's feeling a lot better," Vigneault said.

Antti Raanta has started the past three games and is expected to start against the Panthers on Friday. The Rangers are 2-1-0 since Lundqvist has been out.

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