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Panarin set to return in Rangers' next game

Forward 100 percent after sustaining upper-body injury, will play against Red Wings

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Artemi Panarin will return to the New York Rangers lineup when they host the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG, FS-D, NHL.TV).

The Rangers haven't played since Jan. 21.

"He's 100 percent," coach David Quinn said of Panarin. "He's ready to go."

The forward sustained an upper-body injury that caused him to miss the Rangers' last game before the All-Star break, a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Jan. 21, and to skip the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis last Friday and Saturday.

Panarin, fifth in the League with 68 points (26 goals, 42 assists) in 47 games, was selected to represent the Rangers and play for the Metropolitan Division. He was replaced by forward Chris Kreider.

Video: NYI@NYR: Panarin nets backhander on breakaway

Prior to the break, Quinn said Panarin's injury was not improving, which is why he was held out against the Islanders and advised to skip All-Star Weekend. It was never considered a long-term concern.

"You never know, but we were confident he was going to come back 100 percent," Quinn said.

Ryan Strome left practice early Thursday because he is dealing with the flu, Quinn said, but the forward is expected to play against the Red Wings. He is second on New York behind Panarin with 43 points (12 goals, 31 assists) in 48 games.

Goalie Igor Shesterkin will start against Detroit. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday in the second half of a home-and-home. 

Lundqvist hasn't played since Jan. 11, when he allowed five goals on 29 shots in a 5-2 loss at the St. Louis Blues. He has played twice in January.

Shesterkin played two games with Hartford of the American Hockey League during the break, making 59 saves on 62 shots in wins Friday and Saturday against Bridgeport (4-1) and Lehigh Valley (4-2).

"I had the choice to play a goalie who has been playing, played two games, or a goalie who has been on the beach for nine days," Quinn said. "So I chose to play the goalie who has played two games, who has been playing hockey."

Lundqvist said having three goalies on the roster -- him, Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev -- has been challenging.

"Coming back from the break, I just want to focus on this weekend, practice and we'll take it day by day," Lundqvist said. "We're three goalies, we all want to play and we'll see how it works out."

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