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Rangers claim Auld from Stars

by Phil Coffey
The New York Rangers solidified their backup goalie position Saturday, claiming veteran Alex Auld off re-entry waivers from the Dallas Stars.

The move should provide Henrik Lundqvist with an occasional  breather. After sending Steven Valiquette to the minors earlier in the season, the Rangers have been using rookies Chad Johnson and Matt Zaba as Lundqvist's backup, both have received sporadic action with Johnson appearing in five games (1-2-1, 2.35 goals-against average) and Zaba one appearance, 33:42 in relief of Lundqvist on Jan. 23 in a 6-0 loss to Montreal.

Auld was placed on waiver after the Stars acquired Kari Lehtonen in a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers on Feb. 9 in exchange for defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a 2010 fourth-round pick.

With Dallas this season, Auld, 29, was 9-6-3, along with a 3.00 GAA and an .894 save percentage in 21 appearances.  In his last seven starts at home, Auld has posted a record of 6-1-0, and a 2.51 GAA. Auld went 4-1-0 mark with a 2.71 GAA in a five-game stretch from Jan. 16 vs. Detroit to Jan. 29 vs. Colorado that included his 200th career NHL appearance, a 4-3 win vs. Minnesota, on Jan. 18.

Auld has played eight NHL seasons, posting a career high 33 wins in 2005-06 with the Vancouver Canucks.

Last season, Auld posted a record of 16-18-7, along with a 2.47 GAA, a .911 save percentage and one shutout in 43 appearances with the Ottawa Senators.  He notched his sixth career shutout on Feb. 16, stopping all 24 shots faced in a 2-0 win at Nashville.  He also made a season-high, 41 saves in a 4-2 win on Feb. 24 vs. Carolina.

For his career, Auld has appeared in 204 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Dallas Stars. His career record is 83-81-2-26, along with a 2.78 GAA, a .904 save percentage and six shutouts.
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