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Johnson called up; Zaba to Hartford

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that goaltender Chad Johnson has been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and goaltender Matt Zaba has been assigned to Hartford.

Chad Johnson
Johnson, 23, won back-to-back games with Hartford this past weekend, stopping a combined 53 of 56 shots (.946 Sv%) in a 3-2 win on Saturday vs. Bridgeport and a 2-1 victory Sunday vs. Syracuse. He has appeared in 22 games with the Wolf Pack this season, posting a 12-7-2 record with a 2.07 goals against average, .927 save percentage and three shutouts. 

He currently ranks fifth in the AHL in goals against average, and is tied for fourth in shutouts, seventh in save percentage and eighth in wins. Johnson registered a season-high four-game winning streak, beginning with his first career AHL shutout on October 31 against Providence to November 7 at Bridgeport. He also notched back-to-back shutouts on November 13 vs. Manchester (26 saves) and November 14 at Worcester (35 saves).

The AHL rookie made his debut with Hartford on October 9 at Providence, and recorded his first AHL win the following game on October 10 against Springfield. In addition, Johnson made his NHL debut on December 30 against Philadelphia, and has dressed as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in 12 games with the Rangers this season.

The Calgary, Alberta native was originally the Pittsburgh Penguins’ fifth round selection, 125th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  He was acquired by the Rangers on June 27, 2009, in exchange for a fifth round selection (Andy Bathgate) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Zaba, 26, dressed as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in two games with the Rangers. He returns to Hartford where he has posted a 1-2-1 record with a 4.16 goals against average and .867 save percentage in eight games this season. Last season, he ranked seventh in the AHL in goals against average (2.33), tied for eighth in save percentage (.920) and 12th in wins (25). 

He also led the league in shootout save percentage with a .930% success rate.  Zaba was named AHL Goaltender of the Month for February, and he finished the regular season with a 14-2-0 mark and a 1.84 goals against average, a .937 save percentage and one shutout in his final 16 contests. He made his AHL debut on October 18, 2008, at Toronto.

The Yorkton, Saskatchewan native was originally the Los Angeles Kings eighth round selection, 231st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  He was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 20, 2007.
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