NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 27: Henrik Lundqvist #30 and Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers celebrate their 32 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Igor Shesterkin’s unfortunate accident has thrust Henrik Lundqvist back into a vital role for the New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers‘ playoff hopes took a serious hit on Sunday night when Igor Shesterkin was involved in a car accident. The rookie goaltender recently took over the No. 1 spot, pushing Henrik Lundqvist to the fringes of the squad.

However, with Shesterkin out for at least a couple of weeks with his broken rib, Lundqvist will rejoin the goalie rotation as Alexandar Georgiev’s backup.

“It’s been a weird day today,” Lundqvist said via SNY. “The energy, obviously, for different reasons but first concern is obviously how they feel and everything is under control. Yeah, it’s scary always when you hear something like that.”

The news was frightening, no doubt, but now it’s up to Lundqvist to pick up the slack and help keep the Rangers in the playoff hunt. The team is currently six points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. It’s worth noting that the Rangers have three games in hand on Columbus.

Lundqvist has only played in five games in the year 2020 and this is sure to change without Shesterkin in the fold. For the future Hall of Famer, helping the team whenever he has the opportunity is Lundqvist’s singular focus.

“For me personally — moving forward here at practice, playing — my obligation, my job is to come here and give it my all,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do over the last few weeks and just be ready when I get an opportunity to play. And if I’m not playing, trying to be as supportive as possible to the guys that are playing. I think that’s what you should do.

“My situation after the season will obviously have things to talk about your role and if you fit in this role. Right now, my focus is to work hard and be ready.”

Although it’s interesting that Lundqvist would reference the end of the season and his future with the organization, for the time being, Rangers fans will have the opportunity to see Hank take to the ice on a more regular basis going forward. Whether or not he can propel the Rangers to a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth remains to be seen.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.