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Wiikman called up; Johnson 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 assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and goaltender Miika Wiikman has been recalled from Hartford.

Miika Wiikman
Johnson, 23, has appeared in five games with the Rangers this season, posting a 1-2-1 record, along with a 2.35 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. He notched his first career NHL win, while starting in consecutive games for the first time in his career, with a 34-save effort in a 3-1 win at Colorado on January 31. On January 7 at Atlanta, he became the first NHL goalie to register an assist in his first career start since Alex Auld on January 23, 2002.

He made his NHL debut with 17 saves on December 30 vs. Philadelphia, and has dressed as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in 22 games this season.  Johnson returns to Hartford where he has posted a record of 14-11-2, along with a 2.45 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and three shutouts in 30 games this season. He ranked 12th in the AHL in goals against average, 16th in save percentage, and was tied for sixth in shutouts at the time of his recall on Wednesday.  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.

The Calgary, Alberta native was acquired by the Rangers on June 27, 2009, in exchange for a fifth round selection (Andy Bathgate) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Wiikman, 25, has appeared in seven games with Hartford this season, posting a 2-4-0 record with a 4.20 goals against average and an .869 save percentage this season.  He posted back-to-back wins on October 24 vs. Lowell (5-2) and October 25 vs. Worcester (4-3), registering a 2.50 goals against average and stopping 66-of-71 shots for a .930 save percentage over the span.  Wiikman has also appeared in 16 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL this season, posting a record of 9-2-1-2, along with a 2.77 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and one shutout.

He led the Checkers in goals against average and save percentage, tied for first on the team in shutouts and ranked second in wins.  Wiikman recorded his first career ECHL shutout, stopping all 36 shots faced in a 7-0 win vs. South Carolina on November 18.  He also posted an ECHL career-high four-game winning streak from December 20 vs. South Carolina to January 6 vs. South Carolina.

The Mariestad, Sweden native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on April 24, 2008.
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