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Rangers' Lundqvist to serve as backup vs. Senators

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New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the back up to Cam Talbot for their game at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and expects to start one of two games this weekend.

Lundqvist, who has been out since Feb. 2 with a vascular injury, said Thursday he will have discussions with the coaching staff Friday to decide which game he will start, either at the Boston Bruins on Saturday or at home against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

"It's hard to say no to a game right now when you've been away for that long," Lundqvist said. "But at the same time you have to be smart about it. I feel pretty close to being ready. We'll have that discussion tomorrow and we'll decide which game we should play."

Lundqvist took part in the morning skate Thursday.

"One more step in the right direction," he said. "I'm getting really excited to play, just a few days away. It's been a long break, and I'm also excited to be on the bench tonight and just be a part of that."

Lundqvist was cleared to resume practicing last week. Talbot has 15 of his 19 wins this season since Lundqvist was sidelined.

"There's no doubt Cam has done extremely well," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, "but there's no doubt [Henrik] is the No. 1 guy."

Goalie Mackenzie Skapski was reassigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

Skapski, 20, was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average, one shutout and .978 save percentage in two games. He was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round (No. 170) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

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