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Lundqvist will get chance to regain starting goalie job for Rangers

Could have upper hand for Qualifying Round after defeating Hurricanes all three games in regular season

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Henrik Lundqvist will have a chance to win the starting goalie job back when the New York Rangers return for a training camp prior to the resumption of the NHL.

Lundqvist appeared in six games and started four of the last 30 from Jan. 4-March 11 before the season was paused March 12 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Alexandar Georgiev made 14 starts and Igor Shesterkin made 12.

"I know that we'll have the three guys here, [Georgiev], Shesterkin and Hank, and I think all three are excited," Rangers president John Davidson said Thursday. "I know Hank has been skating. This is going to be a coach's decision. That's who it's up to. The coaches make decisions. I think they're going to watch and see how camp goes. This is going to be a battle."

Lundqvist's success against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Rangers' scheduled opponent in the Eastern Conference Qualifying Round as part of the NHL's Return to Play Plan, could give him the upper hand going into training camp, which could begin in July.

He was 3-0-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .947 save percentage against the Hurricanes this season, including a 45-save performance in a 4-2 win at PNC Arena on Nov. 7.

Video: NYR@CAR: Lundqvist makes 45 saves in Rangers win

He is 33-12-1 with two shutouts, a 2.00 GAA and .934 save percentage in 46 career appearances against Carolina.

"Without question, that one game down in Raleigh, he actually stole the game," Davidson said. "He was outstanding. It was the best game I saw him play all season long."

Shesterkin, though, started to assert himself as the new No. 1 shortly after being recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6.

The 24-year-old rookie was 10-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA and .932 save percentage in 12 starts, including 27 saves in a 5-2 win against the Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Feb. 21. He would have started more games had he not missed six with a rib fracture, an injury he sustained in a car accident Feb. 23.

Georgiev was 17-14-2 with a 3.04 GAA and .910 save percentage this season, but he didn't start against the Hurricanes.

"We've got three guys going in and I like our depth in that position," Davidson said. "I can hardly wait, so whenever the puck drops for training camp, just to watch. There's going to be a lot of subsets, a lot of small stories that are going to turn into big stories. Who is going to go and be the starting goaltender? If it's a best-of-5 series, that's not a long series and you want to get off to a good start. The coaches are going to have to make that decision."

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