New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will have his right eye injury examined by a specialist on Thursday afternoon, with the results determining his potential availability Saturday for Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round at Consol Energy Center.
Lundqvist, injured late in the first period in Game 1 on Wednesday, will have to practice Friday in order to play Saturday, coach Alain Vigneault said. The Rangers are not practicing Thursday.
The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series 1-0 after winning 5-2 on Wednesday.
“He’s been checked by our doctors; at this time we don’t feel that it’s anything too serious,” Vigneault said. “There’s a little bit of swelling near the eye and around the eye, so he’s going to see another specialist this afternoon and we’ll have more news tomorrow.”
Lundqvist was injured when defenseman Marc Staal ‘s stick blade went through his mask and hit him in or near the right eye with 48.2 seconds remaining in the first period in Game 1. He played the remainder of the period, gave up a goal to Patric Hornqvist with 17.6 seconds left, and did not return after the intermission.
The Rangers recalled goaltender Magnus Hellberg from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Thursday. Hellberg will be the backup if Lundqvist has to sit Game 2.
“That’s in case we get some bad news,” Vigneault said, “but at this time we don’t feel that way and it’s just a matter of where the injury is and being on the safe side and making sure everything is all right.”