There’s reason for the New York Rangers to be concerned about backup goaltender Antti Raanta after he took a slapshot to the top of his head and was forced to leave Thursday’s contest.
With little more than six minutes remaining in the first period, the Wild were controlling play in the Rangers’ zone when a cross-ice pass found Minnesota blueliner Marco Scandella. Scandella settled the puck, wound up and rocketed a slapshot on goal that caught Raanta square in the top of the mask.
Raanta looked shaken up after the puck deflected off of his mask, and as soon as the while blew, Raanta dropped forward and was clutching his head. Almost immediately, the Rangers’ training staff was on the ice to check on Raanta:
Rangers starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist came in to replace Raanta on what was supposed to be a scheduled night off. New York is heading to Winnipeg Friday night, and it’s possible Lundqvist will have to start the second half of the back-to-back against the Jets as the Rangers announced Raanta is unable to return against the Wild.
Raanta, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks, has been a very serviceable backup for the Rangers this season. In nine appearances, he has a 4-3-1 record, one shutout and respectable 2.03 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
(Video via SomeHockeyVideos)