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Lundqvist rejoins Rangers for workouts leading up to Cup Qualifiers

Veteran ready for goalie competition with Shesterkin, Georgiev prior to playing Hurricanes @NHLdotcom

Henrik Lundqvist returned to workouts with the New York Rangers for the first time in Phase 2 on Thursday.

The 38-year-old goalie had been working out in Sweden before arriving in New York last week.

"Feels good to be back on the ice at the training center again," Lundqvist wrote on his Instagram account. "A lot of unknown right now, but hockey is fun, I know that!"


[RELATED: Rangers training camp preview]


The New York Rangers were 37-28-5 (.564 points percentage) in the regular season and will enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will play the No. 6 seed, the Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5, .596), in one of eight best-of-5 series. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.

The NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan, small voluntary workouts at team facilities, began June 8. Training camps, part of Phase 3, are scheduled to begin July 13. Games are scheduled to resume Aug. 1 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Lundqvist was 3-0-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .947 save percentage against the Hurricanes this season, including 45 saves in a 4-2 win at Carolina on Nov. 7. He is 33-12-1 with a 2.00 GAA, .934 save percentage and two shutouts in 46 games against Carolina.

With the emergence of rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin, Lundqvist started four of the Rangers' final 30 games from Jan. 4-March 11. Alexandar Georgiev is also an option.

Rangers coach David Quinn said he won't decide which goalie will start Game 1 until after he sees them on the ice for several practices and scrimmages during Phase 3.

"You can make a case for all three guys," Quinn said. "There's a lot of reasons to take 'Shesty,' there's a lot of reasons to start Hank (Lundqvist), and there's reasons to start 'Georgie.' This is such an uncertain time that that will play out over the course of the two and a half weeks that we're going to have before we drop the puck."

Video: NYR@DET: Lundqvist records 64th shutout in 1-0 win

Shesterkin made his NHL debut Jan. 7. The 24-year-old was 10-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA and .932 save percentage in 12 starts, including 27 saves in a 5-2 win at Carolina on Feb. 21.

Georgiev was 17-14-2 with a 3.04 GAA and .910 save percentage this season; he didn't start against Carolina.

"Hank's history factors in, Shesty's season factors in," Quinn said. "Everything factors in. We're going to consider everything when we make that decision. For every player, the time that we have between when we start practicing and the start of the games is going to be pivotal, but none more so than our goalies."

The Rangers on Instagram also showed forward Mika Zibanejad at the workout.

Instagram from @hank30nyr: Feels good to be back on the ice at the training center again👍🏻 A lot of unknown right now but hockey is fun, I know that! 😎 #LGR

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