VANCOUVER -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been so good for Sweden for so long.
In Turin four years ago, The King was one of the main reasons Sweden won a gold medal.
But in Wednesday's 2010 Olympic hockey tournament quarterfinal against Slovakia at Canada Hockey Place, it was a far different story. Lundqvist stopped just 10 of the 14 shots he faced in the game and the opportunistic Slovakians upset the defending gold medalist, 4-3.
Moments after the stunning loss, which signals the end of an era in Swedish hockey, Lundqvist took some time to talk exclusively with NHL.com.
NHL.com: You were so good this whole tournament and then it comes down to this game and things just don't go your way?
Lundqvist: They had a good power play. They pretty much beat us the way we thought they could beat us -- on mistakes and turnovers. They come really fast and they are pretty skilled. We think we were the better team, but they kind of hurt us in their good areas.
NHL.com: You didn't let up one goal in the whole tournament until this game. Is that just the life of a goaltender?
Lundqvist: Yeah, I mean, we played two teams in those games where we played really well and we didn't give up that many odd-man rushes. We didn't give up a lot today either. It was just that they were great when they had their chances there. I felt pretty good first and then I hardly felt the puck, so it was kind of hard to play, actually. I tried to stay in it, but it was hard.
NHL.com: Did you see many of the shots that beat you?
Lundqvist: I was late on the pass. I looked one way and he passed the other way on the first one. The third one, it was a good screen and he [Pavol Demitra] just took a perfect shot. I wish I could play the game again.
NHL.com: On the winning goal, did you even know Kopecky was coming down the middle there?
Lundqvist: I didn't see the guy in the middle and I kind of lost track of the puck, too, after he shot it. I had to go across and obviously you think he's going to shoot it. He's [Marian Hossa]. They just had that little extra luck tonight that they needed. Obviously we took a lot of chances, but they played smart.
NHL.com: Are you stunned? Are you surprised?
Lundqvist: Well, we definitely played well enough to win this game. They played smart but they had that little extra luck they needed. They played smart and they waited for some mistakes. They really focused on their power play and it helped them to win this game.
NHL.com: Do you feel like it is the end of an era for Team Sweden?
Lundqvist: The big part of the team is actually around 25 and 30 right now. We have Lidstrom and Forsberg, yeah; but then we have a bunch of guys that could easily play in the next Olympics. It's tough to realize it is over. We played pretty good. It just wasn't enough.