Rangers goalie prospect returns for Wolf Pack in AHL playoffs

Dylan Garand Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack

Dylan Garand is back and expected to start for the Hartford Wolf Pack when they play Game 2 of the Atlantic Division Final against the Hershey Bears on Saturday. The New York Rangers prospect didn’t play in the series opener, a 6-1 Hartford loss, because he was recalled by the Blueshirts as an extra goalie before their Game 6 contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Garand was badly missed by the Wolf Pack in the loss Thursday. Hershey blitzed Olaf Lindblom, New York’s second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, scoring five goals on 28 shots before the 23-year-old was replaced by Talyn Boyko at 11:01 of the third period.

Lindblom was making his Calder Cup Playoffs debut. He only appeared in six AHL games this season, though Lindblom performed well with a 2.37 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.

He played 57 ECHL games the past two seasons.

Veteran Jake Leschyshyn scored Hartford’s only goal in the Game 1 loss, his fourth of the postseason.

Related: Rangers vs. Panthers: schedule, results, TV info for Eastern Conference Final

Dylan Garand expected to start Game 2 when Wolf Pack look to bounce back from loss

Dylan Garand — Photo courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack

Garand has been the backbone of Hartford’s postseason run. He started the first seven playoff games and is 5-2 with a 2.32 GAA and .931 save percentage. He’s third among all goalies in save percentage and seventh in goals-against average.

The 21-year-old, a fourth-round pick by the Rangers in 2020, has made season-high 38 saves twice in these playoffs and has 30 or more saves in six of seven games played. He’s also a perfect 3-0 in overtime games during the postseason.

Hartford is seeking a split of the first two games in Hershey, hoping to be even with a chance to wrap up the best-of-5 series back home next week. Hershey swept Hartford 3-0 in the Atlantic Division Final last season.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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