Lundqvist streak of 129 consecutive postseason starts for Rangers to end

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Henrik Lundqvist‘s streak of 129 consecutive starts in the NHL postseason will end Tuesday when rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin starts for the New York Rangers against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena. 

Lundqvist’s streak is the third-longest in NHL history by a goalie with one team, behind Martin Brodeur (194 games with the New Jersey Devils from 1994-2012) and Patrick Roy (133 games with the Colorado Avalanche from 1996-2003). 

It began April 26, 2006, when Lundqvist was the starting goalie for the Rangers against the Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It reached 129 games Monday when he started against Carolina after Shesterkin again was ruled unfit to play; Lundqvist made 30 saves in a 4-1 loss in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city. 

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information. 

Shesterkin was 10-2-0 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 12 starts after being called up from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 7. He practiced Sunday.

Lundqvist was 10-12-3 with a 3.16 GAA and a .905 save percentage in 30 games (26 starts) this season, his 15th in the NHL. He was 3-0-0 with a 2.33 GAA and a .947 save percentage in three regular-season games against the Hurricanes this season; since entering the NHL in 2005-06, he is 33-12-1 against Carolina in the regular season with a 2.00 GAA and .934 save percentage.

The winner of the best-of-5 series between the No. 6 seed Hurricanes and No. 11 seed Rangers will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, to be held Aug. 10.

The holder of the fourth-longest streak, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, had it end at 89 games Sunday, when Juuse Saros started Game 1 of their qualifier series against the Arizona Coyotes.

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