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Weekes To Start Game 2

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Rangers change goalies for second game vs. Devils

ESPN.com news services



NEW YORK -- Jaromir Jagr won't play Monday night for the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their series against New Jersey.


But Kevin Weekes will. Rangers coach Tom Renney said Monday that Weekes will start ahead of rookie Henrik Lundqvist, who was in the nets for Saturday's 6-1 loss.


Jagr is out with an injury to his left arm suffered late in Saturday's game when he lunged at Devils' center Scott Gomez. Renney officially called Jagr's status "questionable at best," according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.


Petr Sykora will replace Jagr on New York's top line with center Michael Nylander and left wing Martin Straka.


Weekes was told Monday morning, just hours before Game 2 of the first-round, best-of-seven series, that he would get the starting nod over Lundqvist.


"No additional pressure,'' said the 30-year-old Weekes. "We want to try to put our best foot forward against these guys.''




As for the goaltender move, Renney said part of his decision was based on Weekes' play against the Devils this season, plus his performance four years ago in leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a surprising upset of the then-defending Stanley Cup champion Devils.


Weekes has been in eight career playoff games, all in 2002 with Carolina. That is seven more than Renney has coached in the postseason.


"We're sort of playing a hunch as much as anything,'' Renney said after the pregame morning skate. "He's played New Jersey well, and our last good game of hockey was here against them with Kevin in goal, so I don't think that is unreasonable at all.''


Weekes went 2-3 in five games against New Jersey this season and allowed 11 goals. His last appearance versus the Devils was a 3-2 loss on April 9.


Lundqvist missed seven games down the stretch with a hip injury and didn't get back into the lineup until the regular-season finale -- a 5-1 home loss to Ottawa. The 11 goals he yielded in his last two starts are more than he had in any three-game stretch.


Lundqvist received little help in front in the opener as the Rangers gave the Devils 13 power-play chances and allowed five goals. Most were not Lundqvist's fault, but the goalie admitted that he had trouble throughout the game picking up the puck.


He was disappointed in Renney's decision, but was quick to say he supported the move and would work harder to get his No. 1 job back.


"It was a tough game for me,'' Lundqvist said. "It's a new experience for me coming back from the injury. My game is maybe not on the top right now but I felt pretty good anyway.''


Jason Ward is also out for the Rangers. He sprained his knee on Saturday and won't return in the series.


New Jersey will be without Colin White, who has a groin injury.

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