The New York Rangers’ season flashed before their eyes on Saturday when goaltender Henrik Lundqvist took a fluke shot to the throat in the second period of a game against Carolina.
The shot came off the stick of Brad Malone, who fired a rising wrister from the faceoff circle to Lundqvist’s left during an extended play in the Rangers end.
A slow-motion replay shows Lundqvist tilting his head back as the low shot comes rising up to meet his face. Rangers defender Ryan McDonagh appears to get his stuck up at the same time, flipping Lundqvist’s plastic neck protector up and exposing his throat to the shot.
Lundqvist threw his arms up and went down backwards after the shot, clutching his head and kicking his legs in pain. His limbs continued to flail as a trainer attended to him on the ice.
The New York faithful chanted “Henrik!” for a few moments, then fell into a hush as the trainer pulled Lundqvist’s helmet off.
Doctors examined Lundqvist’s throat and jaw for a few minutes before the Swede climbed to his feet and waved them away, much to the excitement of the crowd.
Lundqvist entered the game with a .921 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average to go with five shutouts and 23 wins on the season.
The Rangers were up 2-0 at the time of the injury.