Just like old times. 

Henrik Lundqvist was back between the pipes where he belongs on Sunday afternoon at the 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic at Scotiabank Arena. In true Lundqvist fashion, the Swedish netminder stoned all the chances he faced – including six shootout attempts – during the 30 minutes he manned the net for Team Nieuwendyk. In doing so, he received First Star of the game honors for his performance.

"I didn't want to give one up," Lundqvist said with a smile. "If I'm going to play for 30 minutes, I want to have that feeling. That's what I felt when I skated for the first time since I retired, the simplicity of just worrying about a puck. There's something very refreshing about that. Now, in life, I do so many different things and the focus is all over the place, but playing hockey, you worry about one thing. In a way, I miss that feeling."

The chances Lundqvist faced came from some high-caliber competition as both teams were comprised of some other Hall of Famers. During the game, he turned aside a Ryan Getzlaf chance in-tight, a sneaky five-hole attempt from Pierre Turgeon on a breakaway, and he outright denied his countryman Peter Forsberg in the shootout.

“It was fun,” Lundqvist said. “It was one of those moments where you look up and you see the names [that you’re playing against]. It was very cool. Obviously, the pace wasn’t that high, which was perfect. Overall, it was so much fun. The whole week has been awesome so far and just incredible to be here. You reflect even more when you see the names -- the names in the Hall, the names today [on the ice]. To finish off in a shootout against Forsberg – I grew up watching him, so to finish off at Hall of Fame weekend [against him is special]. I’m just enjoying it.”

In conjunction with his sharp play, Lundqvist showed up in style as he sported custom burgundy and white pads with the Statue of Liberty front and center that were reminiscent of the pads wore with the Rangers. He also donned a burgundy and gold mask, which featured the Statue of Liberty on both sides.

“I’m gifting that equipment to the Hall,” Lundqvist said. “They’ll have equipment in there with a 100% save percentage. That’s nice!”

Lundqvist wasn’t the only Rangers legend in attendance. Adam Graves – whose No. 9 hangs a few spots over from Lundqvist’s No. 30 in the rafters of Madison Square Garden – also suited up for the game and is in town to celebrate and recognize Lundqvist’s special weekend.

"[It’s] an opportunity to celebrate not only the great goaltender he was, but what he means to New York and the community in everything he does,” Graves said. “He just exudes class. He's a fellow Ranger and part of the bigger family, and I couldn't be prouder. He's a special guy. And quite frankly, not letting a goal in – and I was on the ice with him – he played a pretty good game."

Prior to the game itself, Lundqvist and the other members of the 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee class were recognized individually at center ice, where they were each presented with their official Hall of Fame blazers.

“Every moment this week has been unique and special,” Lundqvist said. “Getting the ring on Friday, [Saturday] at the Fan Forum – sitting there and talking – and obviously, getting to know the other inductees, talking about goalie equipment with Mike [Vernon] and Tom [Barrasso]. Today, of course, getting the jacket is awesome. I’m going to wear it every Sunday for family dinner.”

And while the weekend is a commemoration and a celebration of the careers and contributions of each inductee, it’s also an opportunity to recognize loved ones who have been there for every step of the journey.

“That’s what makes it even more special,” Lundqvist said. “You get to share this weekend with them. They’ve been there obviously since Day 1. There’s a lot of my friends who have been there supporting me. They obviously watched me play. They lived through it with me, the ups and downs. There’s just been so many moments throughout the weekend where you appreciate the memories that you created with them and through hockey.”