When Madison Square Garden reopened for hockey-related activities on Monday night, Henrik Lundqvist was able to help reintroduce the shiny new renovations to the historic building. Unfortunately, his offense didn't draw much inspiration from their improved surroundings, as the Rangers fell to the Canadiens, 2-0.
Now, his understudy will hope for a better result.
Cam Talbot will make his third start in four games when the Rangers travel to Long Island, head coach Alain Vigneault announced Tuesday afternoon. Talbot made those starts because Lundqvist had sustained an unidentified lower-body injury, an injury that was described as minor, nagging and anything else that could explain that it wasn't serious but was annoying.
Apparently, that same issue is not the primary reason behind Lundqvist's night off, via NewJersey.com:
"No, I feel pretty good but, again, it is a challenge to play back to backs and Talbot is playing the way he's playing," Lundqvist said. "It might be a good decision to split that and we have more games coming up."
Talbot has held opponents to a combined total of four goals on 61 shots against over the span of two games. With Lundqvist coming off an injury and the Rangers appearing in the tail-end of a back-to-back, it's certainly logical to give the King a night off. Of course, the Rangers are in a developing hole as they share a dubious spot in the Metropolitan Division's cellar with the Philadelphia Flyers. But, pushing Lundqvist this early and risking any kind of re-injury would be foolish, especially with a four-game home stand on the horizon.
The Rangers are scheduled to meet the Islanders at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday night.