Rumors of Henrik Lundqvist‘s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The Rangers goalie often referred to as “The King” returned to the spotlight last week, as a trio of stellar performances earned him the NHL’s Second Star of the Week Award, the second consecutive week a Rangers goaltender has earned such honors with Antti Raanta winning the award two weeks ago.
With Lundqvist sitting out the previous four games, the first time he had done so while healthy in his New York career, and Raanta putting up solid efforts in his place, rumblings began to circulate that perhaps The King’s reign over NYC hockey was over, especially after letting in at least two goals in nine consecutive starts.
Last week, Lundqvist returned with a vengeance.
Put in net for the Rangers’ road tilt with the Dallas Stars, Lundqvist’s return almost ended before it truly began, as he was knocked down by Cody Eakin while playing a puck behind his net. After sitting out just over five minutes while being checked for a concussion, Lundqvist got the sweetest revenge of all in a shutout, making 27 saves in a 2-0 Rangers win.
Lundqvist got some extra work over the Rangers’ next two games, both shootout wins over Nashville and New Jersey, making 60 saves over the pair.
For the week, Lundqvist, who will get a rest for Tuesday’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins, tallied a perfect 3-0-0 record, making 87 saves for a percentage of .967, and a minuscule GAA of 0.98.
Sandwiching Lundqvist in the Stars of the Week honors were ex-Ranger Eric Staal, who had four goals in helping the Minnesota Wild extend a winning streak to seven games, and Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, the top star of the week after tallying 10 points in four games, all wins.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490