New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s injury isn’t “anything too serious,” according to coach Alain Vigneault.
And with that, Blueshirt fans simultaneous unclench and exhale …
Lundqvist took a stick from teammate Marc Staal to his face near the end of the first period in Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. He dropped to his stomach, in significant discomfort.
Lundqvist skated to the Rangers’ bench during a prolonged delay – drawing boos from the Pittsburgh fans – before remaining in the game.
Lundqvist said he wanted to remain in the game, even as his coach wanted to pull him. Moments later, Patric Hornqvist scored his first of three goals on the night in the Penguins’ 5-2 win.
Lundqvist was replaced by Antti Raanta for the next two periods.
Vigneault told the media on Thursday morning that Lundqvist has swelling around the eye and will be seeing a specialist that afternoon for further evaluation. The recall of AHL goalie Magnus Hellberg – which sent Rangers fans into a panic – was a precaution in case that examination produces bad news.
According to Josh Getzoff of Pens TV, Vigneault said that Lundqvist won’t play in Saturday’s Game 2 if he doesn’t practice on Friday.
So it sounds like Lundqvist could be in goal for Game 2, which means the Rangers still have a prayer in this series. Ryan McDonagh, however, has been ruled out for Saturday, as New York tries to avoid heading back to MSG down 2-0.
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