Henrik Lundqvist back for Rangers

BOSTON -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was back in action for the first time since Feb. 2, and he fell to 25-12-3 with a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday at TD Garden.

Lundqvist, who missed 25 games due to a serious vascular injury, finished with 26 saves against the Bruins.

"It was a tough start. Obviously, not the start I was looking for," Lundqvist said. "First period was just tough timing-wise, and I felt better as the game moved on. Pretty challenging game for two periods, then we played really well in the third. It was good test for me. If you take away that first period, I felt pretty solid."

Lundqvist faced 14 shots in the first period and allowed three goals. The first came only 1:41 into the game when the Bruins' Milan Lucic was credited with the goal after the puck was redirected in with his skate to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The play was reviewed, but it was determined not to be a distinct kicking motion and the goal was allowed.

"I was 100 percent sure that was not a goal, so I kind of stayed confident and calm, but when they called it a goal, obviously, it set the tone for the first period and it was really tough," Lundqvist said. "I'm not sure what the right call was, but in my head when I saw it happen I was pretty convinced it was not going to be a goal."

Lucic added his second of the game at 9:26 of the first. The Bruins had a clean breakout and used tape-to-tape passing through the neutral zone, before Lucic finished with his 17th goal of the season to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

The Bruins' Carl Soderberg gave Boston a 3-0 lead at 14:27 of the first period. He stole the puck at the New York blue line and broke in on a partial breakaway, before beating Lundqvist.

Boston added to its lead early in the second period when Reilly Smith scored at 5:53 for a 4-0 advantage. The Rangers scored twice to cut their deficit, but Boston finished with a 4-2 win.

The Rangers have eight games remaining in the regular season, and Lundqvist would like a few more starts to try and regain his form prior to the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"It's coming, and I'm going to do whatever I can here to get where I need to be as fast as I can," he said.

"It was fun to be out there but clearly I wanted a different result. When you come back like this you're looking for a good start and to build on this game."

The Rangers host the Washington Capitals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. New York coach Alain Vigneault said goaltender Cam Talbot will start.