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Antti Raanta hasn’t stolen King Henrik’s throne as much as he is borrowing it for an extended period.

No one should overreact about Raanta’s run because it’s a guarantee that the New York Rangers aren’t making too much of it. From general manager Jeff Gorton down to the players, everyone understands that Henrik Lundqvist is still No. 1 in New York.

The fact that Raanta will be making his fourth consecutive start tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks has everything to do with how sharply he has played and nothing to do with Lundqvist’s standing with the Rangers.

Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

Raanta is coming off two consecutive shutouts, and has given up one goal in his past three starts. How could Vigneault not keep playing him?

Vigneault wouldn’t be serving the best interest of his team, and would be sending an alarming message to players, if he didn’t reward one for performing at the highest level.

This is just a case of a coach riding his hottest goalie.

The only reason why Raanta’s hot streak is drawing discussion is the reality that Lundqvist’s performance level hasn’t been as impeccable as we are accustomed to seeing. His .912 save percentage is well below his .920 career average. Granted, the defense in front of him hasn't made things easy at times.

This will be the first time in Lundqvist’s career he has sat for four consecutive games when healthy. And if Raanta, with a .943 save percentage, beats the Blackhawks, Lundqvist could sit a little longer. But that still won’t change the fact that Lundqvist is No. 1.

Raanta’s recent success doesn’t erase the fact that Lundqvist has been a quality, consistent goalie for more than 11 seasons. Based on his competitive nature, Lundqvist may emerge from his hiatus hungrier than he has been in years.

In this condensed season, caused by the World Cup tournament, this extra time off may be a benefit Lundqvist in the long run. He will be fresher in the playoffs.

Regardless of how long Raanta's streak goes, it won't change the fact that Lundqvist is the key to the team's playoff aspirations.

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