The one question surrounding the New York Rangers heading into their Friday practice at CONSOL Energy Center was the status of Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist participated in full team practice with the Rangers two days after leaving Game 1 with an eye injury. He will be a game-time decision for Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.
“(Lundqvist) was cleared to practice today,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “Everybody wants to see how he reacts to the strain of the practice. It will be a game-time call tomorrow.”
Lundqvist met with specialists on Thursday. No damage was found, but there is an issue with swelling. But Lundqvist was happy to be back on the ice.
“I felt pretty good,” Lundqvist said. “The big thing for me was yesterday to go see a specialist and to know that there is no damage to the eye, it’s more the swelling around the eye that makes it uncomfortable. We’re taking it day-by-day, but the practice was good.”
Lundqvist left after one period of play after Marc Staal’s stick inadvertently struck him in the eye through his mask.
“After the hit it was very blurry and hard to focus,” Lundqvist said. “That’s why I left the game. That night it improved a lot. … The way the stick hit me, I’m very lucky that nothing bad happened. For 20-30 seconds I had some really bad thoughts going through my head. It was very scary actually.
“It was such a weird feeling because it was extremely painful, but at the same time you go numb. So you don’t know what’s going on. Before you open your eyes, you don’t really know what the reaction will be. That was the scary part.”
Defenseman Dan Girardi did not practice and has been ruled out for Game 2. Vigneault did not offer specifics of when the injury occurred or whether it was upper- or lower-body.
“The whole thing,” Vigneault said with a smile.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh (upper-body) did not practice.
The team used the following workflow… Miller-Brassard-Nash Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello Staal-Hayes-Fast Stalberg-Moore-Glass