Vigneault: 'Hank's our No. 1,' but Antti Raanta better at this time

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

CHICAGO -- Goaltender Antti Raanta made his second straight start for the New York Rangers on Friday night in a 1-0 overtime win over theChicago Blackhawks, leaving Henrik Lundqvist on the bench.

Raanta made 26 saves to record his first shutout of the season and fifth of his career. It was his first game against the Blackhawks, with whom he made his NHL debut in 2013 and played two seasons. He improved to 15-0-3 in 20 career appearances at the United Center.

"It was great to come here and play," Raanta said. "A little nervous, but it was a good thing it ended like this."

Raanta had 17 saves in Thursday's 2-1 victory at Winnipeg. Even with the games on back-to-back nights, Vigneault opted to give him a second straight start because of his recent play and his success in Chicago.

"I think everybody knows Hank's the guy, and Hank's our No. 1, but at this time, I think Antti's game is just a little bit better than Hank," Vigneault told reporters before Friday's game. "We need to win hockey games, and Antti played real well [Thursday] night, wasn't real busy. This is a familiar spot for him, so we just thought it was the right thing to do for the team."

Afterward, Vigneault noted the importance of having two goaltenders, adding, "We're very fortunate that we have two goaltenders that can do a good job for us."

Lundqvist is 12-8-1 with a 2.55 GAA in 21 games. Lundqvist is New York's career leader with 386 wins, 60 shutouts and a .920 save percentage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.