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(AP) — While the New York Rangers hope to build on a modest but much-needed offensive breakout, they’re grateful Henrik Lundqvist will remain in net after avoiding a serious injury.

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Lundqvist should be available Monday night as the Rangers try for a fifth consecutive victory over the visiting Florida Panthers.

The former Vezina Trophy winner overcame a puck to the throat to make 31 saves and help New York (28-15-4) avoid a third straight defeat with Saturday’s 4-1 win over Carolina. Frightened and in pain after taking that shot to throat in the second period, Lundqvist was looked at by the team’s medical staff for about five minutes before he regrouped to make sure the Rangers didn’t match their longest slide of the season.

“It happens,” Lundqvist said. “Thinking back on this situation it could have been a lot worse. I’m happy it wasn’t that bad.”

Lundqvist has started all but nine games this season, including six in a row. He’s yielded a goal in each of the last two since a 4-1 loss to the rival Islanders on Tuesday.

“Everyone knows he’s a competitor, and that’s a hard thing to do as a goalie, keep your focus after something like that takes place,” teammate Marc Staal told the Rangers’ official website.

Lundqvist has started throughout the four-game winning streak versus Florida (21-16-10) and recorded a 1.62 goals-against average in the last three, all of which came on the road. He made 18 saves in a 5-2 win over the Panthers on New Year’s Eve.

A winner in five of six at home versus Florida, New York has totaled 15 non-shootout goals in the last four overall against the Panthers. The Rangers should have even more offensive confidence after Saturday’s effort followed a two-game stretch where they scored once.

New York, however, is 2 for 23 on the power play in the last nine games.

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“It’s been a little up and down, it hasn’t been perfect,” Lundqvist said. “It’s about finding ways.”

Among the NHL goal leaders, Rick Nash recorded his 29th after going three straight and six of the last seven without one. He was shut out against the Panthers in December.

Teammate Chris Kreider had a goal with an assist in that contest, and scored one of New York’s two third-period goals Saturday.

Eight points back of the Rangers, who are currently in the mix for both third place in the Metropolitan Division and a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, Florida fell 3-1 at New Jersey on Saturday for its sixth loss in seven games. The Panthers have been held to one or two goals in five of those seven.

“(The Rangers are) a team ahead of us,” forward Shawn Thornton said. “It’s going to be hard to catch them playing this way.”

Florida outshot the Devils 27-14, but couldn’t convert on its two power-play chances.

“We have to score some ugly ones,” said forward Brandon Pirri, who has scored half of his six goals in his last four games. “We’re an ugly team. Scoring one goal just is not good enough. It’s not going to get any easier from here.”

Florida’s Nick Bjugstad has recorded one of his team-leading 16 goals in the last 10 contests.

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