SUNRISE — Following practice Thursday morning in Tampa, a visitor moseyed over to the locker room area in which Henrik Lundqvist and Alex Auld dressed.
"Hello goalies," the visitor said.
"Thanks for including me in that," Auld quickly responded.
Well, at least someone does.
It’s all Lundqvist all the time for the Rangers now, with head coach John Tortorella announcing at his pre-game briefing that the King would be in net for his 13th straight start and 21st in the last 22 games for tonight’s match here against the Panthers.
Asked if he had considered using Auld following last night’s 5-0 shutout of the Lightning in Tampa in which Lundqvist made 30 saves after being staked to an early 4-0 lead, Tortorella replied, "Why would I?"
With four games remaining following tonight’s match, it appears as if Tortorella will attempt to run the table with the King. If Lundqvist does start every game the rest of the way, he will finish will 72 starts, matching his career high from 2007-08.
Auld, who was acquired on re-entry waivers from Dallas during the Olympic recess, has started one game for the Blueshirts, a 2-0 defeat in Washington on March 6.
It is, of course, risky to go with the backup in a playoff race, as Boston coach Claude Julien can attest. Monday, the Bruins went with Tim Thomas rather than Tuukka Rask against Buffalo. Three goals later, including a pair of softies, Thomas was pulled on the short end of a 3-0 score. The Bruins lost 3-2.
The Rangers, 4-0-1 in their last five, will enter tonight’s game in 10th place, one point behind the Thrashers, 4-3 overtime losers to Pittsburgh this afternoon. Atlanta has three games remaining. The Rangers are two points behind the eighth-place Flyers and seventh-place Bruins. Boston is at Toronto tonight.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/lundqvist_going_the_distance_for_rt0oW8zSKTzvkRX78HF0SJ#ixzz0k5DjPADK
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