With the quick turnaround following Wednesday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders in Brooklyn, the Rangers will start Antti Raanta in goal Thursday night at The Garden when the Blueshirts host the Colorado Avalanche. Henrik Lundqvist played on Wednesday and turned in a sterling performance, stopping 36 of 37 shots during regulation and overtime. The only goal he allowed was a 5 on 3 power play goal by John Tavares in the second period.
Raanta will be appearing in his seventh game this season and making his sixth start between the pipes. He is 4-1-0 with a 1.36 GAA and .952 save percentage. In his last start, Saturday at home against the Flyers, Raanta absorbed his first loss of the season as the Blueshirts were shut out. Raanta did play well, however, stopping 31 of 33 shots before Philadelphia put the game away with an empty net score.
"He's come in here and he's played extremely well for us," head coach Alain Vigneault said of Raanta before Thursday's contest. "I'm confident that will continue."
The switch of goaltenders is the only change in the Rangers lineup on Thursday, meaning that Emerson Etem again will join the injured pair of Derek Stepan and Kevin Klein as a scratch. Etem was not feeling well enough to practice on Tuesday or play Wednesday, necessitating the call up of rugged winger Tanner Glass, who again will replace Etem in Thursday's lineup just as he did on Wednesday.
Glass played a strong ten minutes against the Islanders, recording five hits and three shots on goal while skating on an effective line with J.T. Miller and Oscar Lindberg. Vigneault stated on Thursday that Glass's "presence was felt" the previous night and that "I'd like to see it again tonight."
"He played real a strong, physical game, and his line with J.T. and Oscar spent some quality time in the Islanders end and they had some good looks," shared Vigneault. "It was an easy call to make with the way Glasser played last night."
Following Wednesday's game in Brooklyn Glass told BlueshirtsUnited.com just how much he enjoyed being back with the Rangers in the NHL after spending the past six weeks with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL. He also was quite pleased with how he, Miller and Lindberg fared as a forward line combination.
"Those guys hang on to the puck really well," explained Glass. "Obviously everyone knows how well Oscar has been playing, and J.T. and I have always had a little bit of chemistry, so I thought it was a good game for us."