Cam Talbot gets first NHL start

Updated: October 23, 2013, 5:52 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will miss Thursday's game at the Philadelphia Flyers because of an unspecified injury.

That means Cam Talbot will get the first NHL start of his career. The 26-year-old was brought up from the AHL last week after the Rangers waived Martin Biron.

[+] EnlargeHenrik Lundqvist
Patrick McDermott/NHLI/Getty ImagesHenrik Lundqvist will miss the Rangers' game against the Flyers on Thursday with a "minor issue," coach Alain Vigneault said.

Asked about the "minor issue" hampering Lundqvist, coach Alain Vigneault said it has been something the former Vezina Trophy winner has been dealing with for the past 10 days.

However, Vigneault indicated that the injury was not serious and said the team saw this as an opportunity for Lundqvist to get healthy.

"If this would've been a playoff game, he'd probably would have been playing," Vigneault said. "It's something that's day to day that we think we can nip it in the bud. It may take a day or maybe two, but it's something he should be able to turn the page on and won't hear about it anymore."

Vigneault confirmed that Lundqvist (2-4-0, 3.45 goals-against average) has been playing through the injury, which was described as both "nagging" and "irritation," though he downplayed its impact.

Lundqvist recorded his first shutout of the season with a strong performance against the Washington Capitals last Wednesday, but faltered against New Jersey this past weekend. The 31-year-old netminder surrendered four goals in the team's 4-0 loss to the Devils.

"It wasn't anything significant," Vigneault said. "He played real well in Washington, but it acted up again during the [New] Jersey game."

With Lundqvist out, the Rangers will get to see what they have in Talbot, who usurped Biron for the backup position just last week. Jason Missiaen will be recalled to serve as backup goaltender.

"I'm confident he's going to play well," Vigneault said of Talbot. "I'm hoping our guys rally around this young man. ... It's a moment he'll remember for the rest of his life."

Talbot, who played three years at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, is 4-0-1 with AHL-Hartford this season with a GAA of 2.49 and a .924 save percentage.

"I've been waiting a long time for this, working toward this, so I'll be ready if I get the call," Talbot said Wednesday.

"I'm extremely excited. It's every kid's dream growing up playing hockey, to get a chance to play the NHL. I can't wait until that time comes."

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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