Lundqvist finally cleared to practice

New York, NY ( - New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been cleared to begin practicing, the first step towards his return to action for the first time since early February.

Lundqvist was hit in the throat by a shot in the second period of a Jan. 31 game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He stayed in despite the injury and made 31 saves in the Rangers' 4-1 victory.

The 32-year-old veteran then stopped 33 shots two days later in a 6-3 victory against the Florida Panthers, but didn't dress the following night and has been out of action ever since.

Cam Talbot has been the starter since then, going 13-2-3 with a pair of shutouts in that span, helping the Blueshirts surge to the top of the Metropolitan Division while challenging for the best record in the NHL.

Lundqvist racked up a 25-11-3 record with five shutouts and a 2.25 goals- against average in 39 games before his hiatus.