Henrik Lundqvist begins, Igor Shesterkin “unfit to play”

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Henrik Lundqvist will not be removed from his playoff throne yet.It was Lundqvist, not Igor Shesterkin, who led the Rangers onto the ice in warm-ups before Saturday’s opening game against the Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. He was to be supported by Alexandar Georgiev while Shesterkin was deemed “unfit to play”.

Shesterkin’s absence was unrelated to COVID-19, according to the Post’s Larry Brooks, but a surprising development nonetheless, as the 24-year-old Russian had to make the start. He had played the first half of Wednesday’s show against the Islanders, giving up one goal on seven shots.

Lundqvist, 38, who will make his 128th straight playoff start, has thrived against the Hurricanes over his career, with a 2.00 goals-against average and .934 save percentage against them. In three games this season against Carolina, Lundqvist went 3-0 with a GAA of 2.33 and save percentage of .947.

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