RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – “Obviously nothing serious.”

That’s how head coach Rod Brind’Amour described Antti Raanta’s injury when asked Tuesday morning for a status update on the Carolina Hurricanes’ backup goalie.

Raanta was on the ice for morning skate at Madison Square Garden but positioned opposite the starters’ crease. If it’s nothing serious, why isn’t Raanta starting for the Hurricanes in a Metropolitan Division deciding game against the Rangers?

It’s not the playoffs.

“I don’t know that he’s 100 percent,” Brind’Amour said. “I think he’s still a little banged up. He could play if we needed him to but we’re not putting anybody in the lineup that’s even 99 percent. Everybody’s gotta be 100 percent.”

Essentially, why risk it?

With Frederik Andersen still out, and Brind’Amour waiting until they return to Raleigh to get an injury update on his starting goaltender, Carolina has to make decisions with the postseason in mind.

So it will be the recently called-up Pyotr Kochetkov in goal in a game that will likely determine the Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup playoff seeding.

“He’s going to be a great goalie,” Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith said about the rookie netminder. ”I can already see it and you can tell. There’s things (like) language barrier stuff that we’re working on but he picks it up quick. He’s giving us a chance to win in the games that we’ve played.”

In his first 88 minutes and 36 seconds of National League Hockey Kochetkov has 24 saves and allowed three pucks to get past him for a .889 save percentage. Not bad for a guy who’s been with the Hurricanes for just eight days and doesn’t speak English.

“He understands way more than he can talk and I think that’s with anyone learning a language,” Smith said. “He understands what we say and that’s the key anyway because we’re the ones yelling the plays to move the puck.”

Puck drops at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. If the Hurricanes beat the Rangers Carolina would clinch first place in the Metropolitan Division.