‘King Henrik’ could miss up to 11 Rangers games

Swedish New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will miss two to three weeks with a lower-body injury as the team fights for a National Hockey League playoff berth.

'King Henrik' could miss up to 11 Rangers games
Henrik Lundqvist. Photo: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

The 35-year-old Swede made 43 saves in the Rangers' 5-2 victory over Florida on Tuesday, moving into 10th on the NHL's all-time win list for goalies with 404, but sat out New York's 4-3 loss to Carolina on Thursday.

Lundqvist, nicknamed “King Henrik” for his skills in the crease over 12 NHL seasons all spent with the Rangers, helped Sweden win gold at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics and captured the 2012 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.

This season, Lundqvist is 30-17 with two overtime losses, two shutouts, a 2.65 goals against average and a 91.3 percent save ratio over 51 appearances.

Lundqvist was replaced in the Rangers' lineup by another Swedish netminder, 25-year-old Magnus Hellberg, called up from the Rangers' top developmental club.

With 43 wins and 88 points from 68 games, the Rangers own the first wildcard playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

That has the Rangers a comfortable 13 points in front of the New York Islanders, who hold the last East wildcard playoff spot, and 14 points in front of Toronto with 14 games remaining in the regular season.

In the worst-case scenario, Lundqvist would miss 11 games for the Rangers and return only for the final week of the regular season.


Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.