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Preview: Rangers at Red Wings

Antti Raanta starts for injured Henrik Lundqvist; Anthony Mantha scratched again for Detroit

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

RANGERS (43-23-2) at RED WINGS (26-29-11)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV 

 

Rangers team scope

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a hip strain. Antti Raanta (13-6-0, 2.33 goals-against average, .922 save percentage) will start in Lundqvist's place. "Of course there's going to be a couple more games for me to start," Raanta told the Rangers website Saturday. "I just try to do my thing, try to give the team a chance to win. You never want anyone to get hurt on your team, but that's how hockey is." Forward Rick Nash will return to the lineup after missing a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday with an upper-body injury. Forward Michael Grabner will play after missing five games with a hip injury. Defenseman Brendan Smith will return to Joe Louis Arena likely for the final time of his NHL career. Smith played his first 291 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings before he was traded to the Rangers on Feb. 28. "I'm excited to be back here," Smith said Saturday. "I'm sad this will be the last time, but I'm going to take every moment in, and it will be fun to play against all the guys I've been competing against in practice for the last six years."

 

Red Wings team scope

Forward Anthony Mantha, who is tied for third on the Red Wings with 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game. "I'm obviously not happy about sitting out, but he's the coach," Mantha said after an optional skate Sunday. "I just have to come back when I get a chance and try to prove that I'm never going to sit again. Obviously, this is hard." Coach Jeff Blashill didn't say when Mantha would return to the lineup. "If habits are trending in the wrong way, eventually you have to take away ice time," he said. "It might be one game or it might be multiple games." Goalie Petr Mrazek will start two days after Jimmy Howard returned from a knee injury and made 24 saves in a 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Mrazek hasn't started either of the past two games, but played 46:28 in relief of Jared Coreau in a 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello

Pavel Buchnevich -- Mika Zibanejad -- Rick Nash

Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Tanner Glass -- Oscar Lindberg -- Jimmy Vesey

Marc Staal -- Ryan McDonagh

Nick Holden -- Brendan Smith

Brady Skjei -- Steven Kampfer

Antti Raanta

Magnus Hellberg

Scratched: Matt Puempel, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening

Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (hip), Jesper Fast (upper body), Dan Girardi (ankle), Kevin Klein (back)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist

Justin Abdelkader -- Frans Nielsen -- Darren Helm

Andreas Athanasiou -- Dylan Larkin -- Riley Sheahan

Mitch Callahan -- Luke Glendening -- Drew Miller

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Nick Jensen -- Niklas Kronwall

Robbie Russo -- Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Anthony Mantha

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Ryan Sproul (knee) 

 

Status report

The Rangers held an optional morning skate. … Hellberg was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Saturday to back up Raanta. ... With Nash and Grabner returning, Pirri and Puempel will be scratched. … With Mantha scratched, Callahan is expected to remain on the fourth line with Sheahan on the third line. 

 

Who's hot

The Rangers are 17-4-0 in their past 21 road games. … Zibanejad has three goals in his past three games. ... Zetterberg has 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in his past nine games. … Nyquist has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.

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