Veteran Goaltender Has Struggled Mightily Against Rivals Of Late; Young Backup Georgiev To Get The Nod In Garden Matchup

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Islanders have owned Henrik Lundqvist of late.

Rangers head coach David Quinn may not admit it publicly but the results speak for themselves, which is probably the main reason why the veteran goaltender will be the backup to young Alexandar Georgiev when the teams play Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“Hank played the last two, obviously there is a certain number in your head you want to get Georgie in there. This is a good time to get him in,” Quinn said.

Anders Lee, Henrik Lundqvist

The Islanders’ Anders Lee, left, reacts after scoring against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers on Nov. 15, 2018 at Barclays Center. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

For whatever reason, “King” Henrik has looked more like a court jester when facing the Islanders over the last few seasons. The Rangers have dropped 12 of the last 13 meetings, with Lundqvist starting 10 of those games and posting and unseemly 3.24 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.

In 60 career appearances against the Islanders, Lundqvist is 30-20-7 with a 2.38 GAA and .916 save percentage.

Lundqvist was pulled after two periods of the Rangers’ 7-5 loss to the Islanders last Thursday after allowing five goals on just 17 shots.

The Rangers have won two straight since and find themselves just two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Overall this season, Lundqvist is 8-6-2 with a 2.61 GAA and .919 save percentage.

The Islanders (10-7-2), who sit two points behind the Rangers (11-8-2) with two games in hand, will start Robin Lehner in goal. Lehner played the final 32:43 of the Isles’ 6-2 home loss to Dallas on Sunday, allowing three goals on 14 shots.

Wednesday’s meeting will also feature veteran forward Ryan Strome’s first appearance against his former team as a member of the Rangers. The 25-year-old forward, who was acquired Friday from Edmonton, played his first four seasons with the Islanders before being traded to the Oilers for veteran Jordan Eberle prior to last season.