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Rangers recall Johnson from Hartford

Blueshirts swap backup goaltenders, sending Zaba back to AHL

Tuesday, 01.26.2010 / 9:50 AM / News
New York Rangers
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Rangers recall Johnson from Hartford
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that goaltender Chad Johnson has been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and Matt Zaba has been assigned to Hartford.

Chad Johnson
Johnson, 23, has posted a 1-1-0 record with a 2.08 goals against average and a .936 save percentage in three games since his assignment to Hartford on Wednesday, January 20, following back-to-back overtime contests on January 22 and 23 (3-2 win vs. Manchester and 2-1 overtime loss at Springfield, respectively) and a relief appearance in a 6-1 loss at Manchester on January 24.

Johnson returns to New York where he has a record of 0-1-1 with a 2.58 goals against average and a .908 save percentage along with one assist this season.  Johnson registered an assist, made 31 saves through regulation/overtime and stopped three of five shootout attempts while making his first career NHL start with the Rangers on January 7 at Atlanta.  He made his NHL debut with 17 saves on December 30 vs. Philadelphia, and has dressed as Henrik Lundqvist's backup in 18 games.

In Hartford, Johnson has posted a 14-8-2 record with a 2.03 goals against average, .930 save percentage and three shutouts in 26 AHL games this season. He ranks fifth in the AHL in goals against average and save percentage, and is tied for fourth in shutouts and 13th in wins.  Johnson registered a season-high four-game winning streak, beginning with his first career AHL shutout on October 31 against Providence to November 7 at Bridgeport. He also notched back-to-back shutouts on November 13 vs. Manchester (26 saves) and November 14 at Worcester (35 saves).  The AHL rookie made his debut with Hartford on October 9 at Providence, and recorded his first AHL win the following game on October 10 against Springfield.   

The Calgary, Alberta native was originally the Pittsburgh Penguins' fifth round selection, 125th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  He was acquired by the Rangers on June 27, 2009, in exchange for a fifth round selection (Andy Bathgate) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Zaba, 26, made his NHL debut in Saturday’s 6-0 loss at Montreal, entering the game at 6:18 of the second period and stopping 14 of 16 shots, including nine of 10 in the third.  He returns to Hartford where he has posted a 3-4-1 record with a 3.45 goals against average and .888 save percentage in 12 AHL games this season.

Last season, Zaba ranked seventh in the AHL in goals against average (2.33), tied for eighth in save percentage (.920) and 12th in wins (25).  He also led the league in shootout save percentage with a .930% success rate.  Zaba was named AHL Goaltender of the Month for February, and he finished the regular season with a 14-2-0 mark and a 1.84 goals against average, a .937 save percentage and one shutout in his final 16 contests.  He made his AHL debut on October 18, 2008, at Toronto.

The Yorkton, Saskatchewan native was originally the Los Angeles Kings eighth round selection, 231st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  He was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 20, 2007.