New York Rangers great Henrik Lundqvist didn’t allow a goal in his first game between the pipes since 2020.
Henrik Lundqvist put on his new Hockey Hall of Fame gear for team Nieuwendyk on Sunday for the Legends HHOF game. It was the first time the King had played in a game since August 2020.
He played 20 minutes and didn’t give up a goal. Then, he stopped all six attempts in a shootout, capping it with a save on Peter Forsberg to win the game.
Henrik Lundqvist was eager to earn the shutout
In typical Lundqvist style, he wanted to play with the same focus and determination New York Rangers fans had become accustomed to during his 15 years on Broadway.
“I didn’t want to give one up,” Lundqvist said. “If I’m going to play for 30 minutes, I want to have that feeling. That’s what I felt when I skated for the first time since I retired, the simplicity of just worrying about a puck. There’s something very refreshing about that. Now, life, I do so many different things and the focus is all over the place, but playing hockey, you worry about one thing. In a way, I miss that feeling.”NHL.com
Lundqvist receives his Hall of Fame blazer
Before the game at Scotiabank Arena, Henrik received his Hall of Fame blazers in a special pregame ceremony along with the other inductees.
“It’s awesome,” Lundqvist said. “I’m going to wear it every Sunday, family dinner.”
Rangers great Adam Graves was in attendance
Lundqvist had another familiar face to Rangers fans. Stanley Cup champion Adam Graves skated on Henry’s team and sounded like he enjoyed the weekend celebrating the King’s career.
“Obviously, I’ve known him a long time but I’ve gotten to know him even better in retirement, and I couldn’t be happier for him, [his wife] Therese and his girls,” Graves said. “An opportunity to celebrate not only the great goaltender he was, but what he means to New York and the community in everything he does. He just exudes class. He’s a fellow Ranger and part of the bigger family and I couldn’t be prouder. He’s a special guy. And quite frankly, not letting a goal in, and I was on the ice with him, he played a pretty good game.”NHL.Com
Lundqvist’s return to the ice
Henrik was forced to retire due to a heart ailment in 2021. Doctors cleared him to play in the Legends game. He enjoyed the competition and focus he once relied so heavenly on during his tenure with the New York Rangers, which saw him reach three Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final.
Henrik will be gifting the pads he wore in the Legends game to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play in some more of these “legends” contests in the future.
“If you asked me four weeks ago, I would say no, but now being on the ice a couple times, I really enjoy it,” Lundqvist said. “I’m not going to do it a ton, but I might do a couple games here and there. It’s so fun to compete. It’s not a no anymore, but we’ll see.”NHL.com
Unfortunately, fans had to settle for a few still photos of the game on social media since the HHOF nor the NHL offered a way to stream the game.
Henrik will officially be inducted into the HHOF in a ceremony on Monday night, televised live on the NHL Network at 8:00 pm EST.
Follow Frank on X at @RangerProud