RALEIGH, NC – If there had ever been a perfect time to start Henrik Lundqvist, it would have been Friday against the hurricanes. Instead, the legendary Rangers goalkeeper was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career, watching the game from the stands with his mother, while the players' mothers took two games on this road trip.
When it was decided that Igor Shesterkin would give the Rangers a 5-2 win, Lundqvist decided to do a lot of extra work during and after skating in the morning. He and coach David Quinn then decided that it would be best to have Alexandar Georgiev back.
"Hank had a very hard day's work just because he didn't play much, we don't have a lot of practice," said Quinn of Lundqvist, who has only started three games since Shesterkin's arrival on January 6, strictly Hank's decision. "
Lundqvist had started all three previous games against the Hurricanes this season and won them all, including the 45-point gem at the PNC Arena on November 7th. During his 15-year career, Lundqvist dominated the hurricanes with 33 -12-1 record with 2.00 goals against the average and a saving of 0.934 percent.
Center Filip Chytil only got two shifts in the third period and didn't play the last 17:31 of regulation. Quinn said it was "an upper body thing" the severity of which he would only know later on Friday evening.
When Quinn walked down the hall after his press conference after the game, he called to the player mothers 'assembly: "Moms' trip extended!" The group has been part of the team since the start of the road trip with the 6-3 win on Wednesday evening in Chicago.
"It's a lot of fun to be with them," said Quinn. "It's fun to see how players interact with their mothers, how excited they all are to be here, and how proud they are of their children – and they should be." It's not easy to make it into the National Hockey League. "
Julien Gauthier stayed in the lineup against the team that traded him on Tuesday and got 5:25 ice age with only two shifts each in the second and third periods. The 22-year-old winger, 6-foot-4 and £ 230, was received in exchange for defender Joey Keane and has played on a line with Brendan Lemieux and Brett Howden.
"You can see there's a lot there," said Quinn.
Forward Greg McKegg was a good scratch for the second game in a row, this against the team he had played with in the past two seasons. Brendan Smith was also a scratch.