The Rangers got good news on Henrik Lundqvist today at practice. After taking an accidental stick from Marc Staal in his right eye, the Swedish King left Game 1 after the first period. By then, coach Alain Vigneault left him in too long. The injury occurred with 48.8 seconds left. The coach sent Lundqvist back out to end the period. Patric Hornqvist scored with 17.7 seconds left setting the tone for a Pens’ 5-2 victory.
“After the hit, it was blurry and hard to focus,” he told reporters after taking full part in practice and being the first goalie off. “That’s why I left the game. That night it improved. I’m lucky nothing bad happened.”
If his vision was blurry, why did Vigneault keep him in? It would’ve made sense to have backup Antti Raanta finish the period. Maybe the play with Connor Sheary setting up Hornqvist doesn’t happen. But then again, he out-hustled a lazy Dan Girardi, who stopped skating assuming it was icing. Still, you wonder if his vision led to the bad rebound which Hornqvist buried with three Rangers standing around.
As for Lundqvist, he added: “I felt pretty good. Saw a specialist. There’s no damage to the eye, it’s the swelling making it uncomfortable.”