Lundqvist becomes 11th player in Rangers history to have jersey retired

The King has taken his throne in the rafters at Madison Square Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist became the 11th player to have his number retired by the New York Rangers when a banner with his name and No. 30 was raised at the Garden before the team’s game against the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.

The Swedish goalie spent his entire 15-year playing career with the Rangers after being selected in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL draft, finishing with a record of 459-310-96 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .918 save-percentage. After the 2019-20 season, he had the final year of his contract bought out by New York and signed with Washington for the ensuing shortened season but did not play after having heart surgery.

The 39-year-old Lundqvist, a fan favourite in New York from the start of his stellar career, received an ovation and cheers of “Hen-rik! Hen-rik!” from the crowd when he was announced and walked out on the blue carpet on the ice, and then again when he was called to the podium by Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen.

“When I look back at my 15 years here, what gives me the most satisfaction it’s not the wins or the personal recognition but its really the commitment,” Lundqvist said. “The commitment I felt to the New York Rangers and the commitment they showed me for so long.”

The Rangers retire No. 30 of former goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, far left. He was joined on the ice by four former Rangers who have also had their number retired. (Left-right) Mike Richter, Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Brian Leetch. (John Munson/The Associated Press)

Lundqvist became the third Rangers goalie to have his jersey retired, joining Ed Giacomin (1) and Mike Richter (35). Brian Leetch (2), Harry Howell (3), Rod Gilbert (7), Andy Bathgate (9), Adam Graves (9), Vic Hadfield (11), Mark Messier (11), and Jean Ratelle (19) also have been honoured.

“I’m so happy I get an opportunity to say thank you to all the amazing fans in here and around this great city,” said Lundqvist, who was interrupted with more chants of “Hen-rik!” during his speech. “You have supported me throughout my great career. It’s been an amazing experience and its given me so much joy.”

Lundqvist was joined for the ceremony by his parents Peter and Eva, twin brother Joel, sister Gabriella, wife Therese, daughters Charlise and Juli. Richter, Leetch, Graves and Messier were also in attendance. Current Rangers players sat on the bench during the ceremony, all wearing No. 30 jerseys and Lundqvist’s name on the back. Wild players, including former teammate Mats Zuccarello were also present.

Lundqvist appeared in five All-Sar games and is sixth in NHL history in wins. He also holds the Rangers’ franchise records for victories (459), playoff wins (61), shutouts (64) and games played (887). He currently serves as a studio analyst on MSG Networks’ pregame, intermission and postgame shows.

He was presented with a Rangers-themed electric guitar painted by Dave Gunnarson — the Swedish artist who painted many masks Lundqvist used during his career — and presented by tennis great John McEnroe, a framed collection of 74 pucks from his each of his regular season and playoff shutouts, three bottles of wine from Vineyard 36, and a custom Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with his No. 30 on it.

“People that know me and played with me know that I was pretty intense,” Lundqvist said. “I didn’t talk much. … Teammates learned pretty quickly that a conversation with me on a game day, that would be a pretty short conversation.

“The highs were high, but the lows were low and there was not much in between. That’s how I choose to live my life for the past 20 years, and 15 here in New York, never really changed. Playing well and trying to help the team win, that was so important to me. Was it extreme? Probably. Was it healthy? Only when we were winning. That contrast I felt between winning and losing really pushed me throughout my career.”

Lundqvist also spoke with media hours before the ceremony, joined by his wife, Therese, and daughters, along with Rangers general manager and president Chris Drury and former GM and president Glen Sather — now a senior adviser.

“I can honestly say knowing Hank and playing with Hank that he’s given me the easiest answer I’ll ever have. We want to be like Hank,” Drury said. “His desire, his determination, his will to win his commitment to the community and the city. He is the gold standard of what a New York Ranger is.”

Sather recalled seeing Lundqvist play in Gothenburg, Sweden, back in 2004, a year before he joined the Rangers.

“I said, this is `the next one.’ Sather said. “I’d only seen him one game. There was something about him, the way he electrified the crowd. His poise. The way he conducted himself.”

Lundqvist is the first Rangers player to have his number retired since Hadfield on Dec. 2, 2018.

Evander Kane asks fans to keep open mind as controversial forward joins Oilers

Evander Kane knows signing with the Edmonton Oilers won’t be a move universally loved by the team’s fans.

Edmonton will be his fifth NHL city, and the Oilers the fourth franchise, for which the 30-year-old has played. There will be questions about his past — from suspensions due to violations of COVID protocols, a bankruptcy and self-confessed gambling problems. His contract was voided by the San Jose Sharks.

The biggest headlines of his career, though, came from allegations of abuse lodged by his ex-wife, which were not proven in court. Kane has custody of the former couple’s daughter.

The Oilers brain trust and Kane met with the media Friday morning at Rogers Place to officially introduce the winger. Kane is on a deal with the Oilers — with a reported salary of $750,000 US and $625,000 in bonuses — that takes him to the end of this season, and nothing more.

Kane was asked what he’d say to the segment of Edmonton hockey fans who might not be happy he’s joining the team.

“I want to clear up a lot of the misinformation, a lot of the storylines painting me in a certain light that are completely untrue, inaccurate and false,” Kane said. “I would encourage [fans] to be open-minded, to allow me to do what I do best and get to know me on the ice, off the ice, around the rink, in the community, and see what I bring to the table.

“Every city I’ve been in, I’ve always worked in the community and done what I can to help make that city, that community a better place.”

There’s no denying Kane’s pedigree on the ice. He’s got 506 points in 769 games. But Kane has continually generated headlines for the wrong reasons.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland, left, Evander Kane and head coach Dave Tippett announce Kane’s signing. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

In 2021-22, he was suspended 21 games by the NHL for violating COVID-19 protocols. He was investigated by the league for another alleged violation this season that concluded earlier this week, with the league stating there was not sufficient evidence to conclude Kane “knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel.”

Kane declared bankruptcy in 2021, with more than $26 million in debts. He’s publicly admitted he has a gambling issue, has seen a therapist for that, but has repeatedly denied that he bet on or influenced NHL games.

“I take responsibility for things I’ve done wrong,” Kane said. “But I’m definitely not taking responsibility for things I haven’t done.

“It’s funny that people think that I am going to come in, like some kid on the playground, and disrupt everything. That’s just not the case. I’ve had a lot of experience on and off the ice, I’ve been in this league a long time, and I try to share those experiences with my team, and try to help them prevent making the same mistakes that I have.”

‘He’s a very, very talented player’

Oilers president of hockey operations and general manager Ken Holland said, after speaking with Kane via Zoom shortly after his dismissal from the Sharks, he began doing his homework. Would Kane be a fit?

“I talked to people in our organization, I talked to people outside the organization,” said Holland. “In the end, you’re talking about chemistry. When it comes to his talent, his skill set, obviously he’s a very, very talented player that’s going to make us better.”

Holland, coach Dave Tippett and Kane had dinner in Vancouver earlier this week, when the Oilers were in the city to play the Canucks. They met for two and a half hours.

“I left that dinner feeling that Evander would be a real positive addition to our hockey team,” Holland said.

Kane is expected to make his Oilers debut when the team faces Montreal Saturday night.

He said “quite a few teams” showed interest in signing him after he and the Sharks parted ways.

“I had to make a decision that was going to be the best for me, and those teams continued to dwindle down, and we got to a number where Edmonton was obviously in the mix,” Kane said. “The more conversations we had, the further the process continued. It just became more and more evident that this was the best fit for me.”

McDavid nets shootout winner as Oilers down Predators for 3rd straight victory

Connor McDavid scored the shootout winner and added a goal in regulation as the Edmonton Oilers continued their efforts to dig their way out of a recent slump with a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers (21-16-2) who have now won three straight after going 2-11-2 in their previous 15 games. Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen stopped all three Nashville shootout attempts.

Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene scored for the Predators (27-14-4), who lost for the first time in four games.

The Oilers tied an unfortunate franchise record by allowing the game’s first goal for the 11th straight game when Forsberg scored his 200th career goal high to the stick side past Koskinen five minutes into the opening period. It was also the 26th time in the last 30 games Edmonton has allowed the first goal of the game.

Edmonton got that back with 32 seconds to play in the first as McDavid blazed up ice and cut past defender Matt Benning before putting his 21st of the season through the legs of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros.

The Predators went ahead 2-1 seven-and-a-half minutes into the second when Duchene elected to shoot on a two-on-one, notching his 21st high to the glove side past Koskinen.

The Oilers pulled even again with five minutes to play in the middle frame as a long point shot from Bouchard hit a defender and caromed into the net.

There was no scoring in the third, with Edmonton outshooting the Preds 43-26 through regulation time.

Overtime saw Darnell Nurse hitting a post for the Oilers.

The Oilers begin a three-game road trip in Montreal on Saturday. The Predators are off until Tuesday, when they will host to the Vancouver Canucks.

Blues breeze past Flames to get revenge for blowout loss in Calgary 3 days earlier

Brandon Saad scored twice and had an assist, Ville Husso made 28 saves to win his sixth consecutive start, and the St. Louis Blues cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly also scored for St. Louis.

The Blues got some revenge for a blowout loss at Calgary three days earlier. The Flames outshot the Blues 48-21 in their 7-1 victory over the Blues on Monday.

Husso, who made his fourth start in five games, has won all six of his starts since returning from a lower-body injury on Jan. 7. He has played in five consecutive games; he came in relief of Jordan Binnington for the third period in Monday’s game.

Mikael Backlund scored the lone goal for Calgary, which had 29 shots a day after a 6-0 win at Columbus during which the Flames had a franchise-record 62 shots — the highest total in a regulation NHL game since March 1989.

St. Louis struck first when Saad scored at 6:15 of the opening period. Schenn fed a streaking Saad just inside the blue line on the left wing, and Saad buried a wrister from the left faceoff circle to beat Jacob Markstrom. Torey Krug made the outlet pass up the middle to Schenn to start the play.

Calgary tied it at 1 when Backlund scored from a tough angle at 10:34. Andrew Mangiapane passed the puck to Backlund, who hit a wrist shot from the side of the goal at the bottom of the right circle.

St. Louis responded by scoring the go-ahead goal at 13:59. Schenn got the puck near the red line from Niko Mikkola and raced up the ice, scoring in the upper right corner of the net.

Saad’s second goal gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead at 9:57 in the second. The puck came off a Flames stick from behind the net and Saad, in the slot, quickly popped it in.

St. Louis scored twice in the third period. From behind the net, Robert Thomas found Kyrou in front of the net. Kyrou scored at 4:10 for a 4-1 lead. Kyrou has seven goals and seven assists over his last 11 games.

O’Reilly scored a power-play goal at 18:59.

Canucks' Miller notches 2nd career hat trick in rout of Jets, who drop 6th straight

J.T. Miller registered his second career hat trick as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a three-game winless skid with a 5-1 victory over Winnipeg on Thursday, extending the Jets’ winless streak to a season-high six games.

Miller scored once on the power play and twice at even strength for the Canucks (19-19-5), giving him a team-leading 15 goals on the season. He also added an assist.

The 10-year veteran’s first hat trick was March 13, 2018, when he played with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 7-4 win over Ottawa.

Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists and Elias Pettersson contributed a goal and assist for the Canucks, who were 0-1-2 coming into the game. Luke Schenn had two assists as the team opened a four-game road trip that continues Saturday in Calgary.

Spencer Martin made 33 saves for his first career victory in his third game with Vancouver, and sixth overall. He also played three games for Colorado.

Andrew Copp scored for the Jets (17-16-7), who are 0-4-2 in their last six outings.

Making his 13th straight start for Winnipeg, Connor Hellebuyck, stopped 28 shots before 250 fans allowed at Canada Life Centre because of local COVID-19 health orders.

The victory gave Vancouver a three-game sweep in its season series against Winnipeg.

Miller and Copp scored in the first period. Miller then added two more in the second for the 3-1 lead.

Vancouver capitalized quickly on the game’s first penalty. Miller sent a one-timer past Hellebuyck just 10 seconds into the man advantage at 13:23 for his 13th goal of the season.

Copp tied it two minutes later when he batted the puck into the net behind Martin for his 12th goal.

Miller made it 2-1 after he held the puck for a second, then sent a wrist shot low to Hellebuyck’s far side at 5:25 of the middle period.

Winnipeg had two power plays soon after Miller’s goal, but Martin withstood the pressure. Jets defenceman Nate Schmidt hit the crossbar and Copp hit the post in the period.

Miller notched his third goal at 12:55 with a shot through Hellebuyck’s pads.

Boeser showed Vancouver’s power-play prowess when he scored seven seconds into their second man advantage off a rebound at 1:08. Pettersson fired in a high shot at 14:00.

The Jets, who were 0-for-3 on the power play, head out for a two-game road trip starting Saturday in St. Louis.

Sens can't get past Andersen in shootout, lose to Hurricanes on Svechnikov's winner

Andrei Svechnikov produced the only goal in the shootout as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the host Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Thursday night.

It was the first shootout of the season for the Hurricanes, and they secured the victory when Frederik Andersen denied all three of Ottawa’s attempts in the tie-breaking session.

Derek Stepan and Nino Niederreiter scored in regulation for the Hurricanes, who took a 3-2 home loss to Ottawa in December.

Andersen made 37 saves through regulation and overtime.

Nick Paul and Alex Formenton scored for Ottawa. Matt Murray stopped 27 shots before thwarting Vincent Trocheck on Carolina’s first attempt in the shootout. Svechnikov took the second try for the Hurricanes and buried the shot, and Carolina didn’t need a third round.

Andersen stopped Brady Tkachuk’s breakaway chance with about 1:30 left in overtime. After that, the Senators were on a power play for the last 49.8 seconds of overtime.

Niederreiter tied the score with 3:22 to play in regulation. It was his 13th goal of the season but only his third in a road game.

Formenton had put the Senators on top 2-1 with a tally 5:51 into the third period.

Stepan and Paul scored within a two-minute span early in the second period. It was Stepan’s sixth goal of the season, with two of them coming across the past five outings.

By the end of the second period, the Senators had applied all sorts of pressure. Ottawa posted a 20-6 edge in shots in the middle period after Carolina’s 15-7 shot advantage in the opening period. The Hurricanes went 0-for-2 on power plays in the first period.

Carolina managed a total of 13 shots across the second and third periods.

WATCH | Svechnikov wins it in the shootout:

Svechnikov lifts Hurricanes over Senators in shootout

1 hour ago

Duration 1:09

Carolina edges Ottawa 3-2 as Andrei Svechnikov scores the shootout winner. 1:09

The Senators fell to 1-0-1 midway through a four-game homestand. Murray shut out the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Ottawa played without All-Star selection Drake Batherson, who broke his left ankle against Buffalo and will be out for at least several weeks.

Canadiens drop 4th in a row in failed comeback against Ducks

Trevor Zegras had two goals as the Anaheim Ducks scored three first-period goals then held on for a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Sam Carrick, Troy Terry and Cam Fowler had the other goals for Anaheim (22-16-8). Anthony Stolarz stopped 35 shots.

Jake Evans scored twice for Montreal (8-27-7). Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin, on a penalty shot, had the other goals.

Cayden Primeau allowed three goals on eight shots and was pulled at the end of the first period. Samuel Montembeault came on and turned aside 13 of the 15 shots he faced.

Carrick opened the scoring on a breakaway, beating Primeau at 8:14 of the first for his ninth of the season.

The Ducks took advantage of Dauphin’s double-minor for high-sticking Ryan Getzlaf by scoring twice. Getzlaf did not return to the game.

WATCH l Trevor Zegras’ lacrosse goal helps Ducks get 5-4 win over Canadiens:

Ducks’ Trevor Zegras scores lacrosse goal in win over Canadiens

2 hours ago

Duration 0:50

Anaheim Ducks centre Trevor Zegras scored “The Michigan” in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens, his first of two goals, including the eventual game-winner as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. 0:50

Fowler and Terry put Anaheim up 3-0 with power-play goals at 15:12 and 17:06, respectively.

Evans cut Montreal’s deficit to 3-1 at 1:15 of the second before Zegras countered impressively. He scored a lacrosse goal from behind the Montreal net, beating Montembeault to make it 4-1 at 1:25.

Montreal scored on the power play when Mike Hoffman left the puck for Lehkonen in the slot and he recorded his sixth of the season at 9:54.

Zegras scored his second of the game from the high slot at 14:04 to give Anaheim a 5-2 lead.

Evans added his second of the night at 1:24 of the third to cut Anaheim’s lead to 5-3. Dauphin was awarded a penalty shot when Hampus Lindholm hooked him on a breakaway.

He converted at 14:02 to make it a 5-4 contest.

Oilers to sign Evander Kane following NHL investigation: reports

Evander Kane, the embattled NHL veteran whose contract with the San Jose Sharks was terminated earlier this month, is set to sign with the Edmonton Oilers, multiple reports said Thursday.

The deal would be for one year and the veteran minimum of $750,000 US, with a signing bonus and a full no-movement clause, Sportsnet reported.

The signing hinged on the results of an investigation into an alleged breach of COVID-19 protocol that marked the final straw for Kane’s tenure in San Jose. That investigation concluded without sufficient evidence to discipline Kane any further, the league announced Thursday evening.

The NHL previously suspended Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake vaccination card and the Sharks assigned him to their American Hockey League affiliate. Then, Kane reportedly traveled from California to his home in Vancouver in December after he tested positive for COVID, in violation of the AHL’s protocol.

The Sharks placed him on waivers and terminated his contract once he cleared. The players’ association filed a grievance over the move while the NHL conducted a probe into the situation.

An investigation by a New York law firm found there wasn’t enough evidence to “conclusively find that Mr. Kane knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel,” the league said in a statement Thursday.

Previously, Kane was investigated by the NHL for allegations made by his estranged wife, Anna Kane, which included domestic violence and betting on NHL games. Evander Kane has admitted to a gambling problem but denied those particular accusations, and the NHL did not find evidence to support either claim.

Kane is eligible to play as soon as he signs. The Washington Capitals were also interested in Kane, Sportsnet reported.

A winger, Kane tallied 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in 56 games last season. In a 12-year NHL career spent with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise (2009-15), the Buffalo Sabres (2015-18) and San Jose, Kane has scored 264 goals and added 242 assists over 769 games.

He would be joining an Oilers team that features the past two Hart Trophy winners, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and trying to help an underperforming squad that was in sixth place in the Pacific Division entering Thursday.

“If he’s a part of our team it’s going to be exciting to have a player like that I would say,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman told reporters about the Kane rumours. “He’ll be a part of our team if he’s a part of our team.”

Flames fire franchise-record 62 shots in dominant win over Blue Jackets

Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and the Calgary Flames fired a team-record 62 shots on goal in trouncing the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Wednesday night.

Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for his 13th career shutout, sending the Blue Jackets to their third straight loss and fourth in a row at home. Calgary bombarded Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped 56 shots.

Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm and Erik Gudbranson added goals for the Flames, who have won three of four. Johnny Gaudreau had three assists.

Markstrom is undefeated in four starts against Columbus, and the Flames have won the last five matchups between the teams.

Backlund got the scoring started at 4:21 of the first period, beating Merzlikins stick side for his fourth goal of the season and first since Nov. 21.

Mangiapane made it 2-0 at 15:14 with a deflection that stood after a replay challenge for a high stick. It was his 19th of the season, 18 of which have come on the road.

Tkachuk’s shot with 5.2 seconds left in the second put Calgary up 3-0.

Columbus failed to get a shot on goal in the second until 8:50 remained in the period. Merzlikins faced 39 shots through two.

Calgary made it 4-0 just 30 seconds into the third when Lindholm converted Gaudreau’s rebound.

WATCH | Gaudreau sets up Lindholm with gorgeous assist:

Gaudreau’s jaw-dropping assist helps Flames claim dominating victory over Blue Jackets

2 hours ago

Duration 0:56

Calgary blanks Columbus 6-0, Johnny Gaudreu records three assists. 0:56

Gudbranson’s shot from the blue line at 6:55, his first goal of the season, made it 5-0. Tkachuk scored his team-leading 20th at 7:36.

Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games and leads the Flames with 35 assists to go with 16 goals.

Matthews scores shootout winner to lift Maple Leafs over Ducks

The Toronto Maple Leafs scored three power-play goals and Auston Matthews produced the shootout winner to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares each scored power-play goals to push the Toronto Maple Leafs to a two-goal lead before an empty Scotiabank Arena because of provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

But a late goal in the second period and another from Ducks forward Vinni Lettieri with 6:37 remaining in the third sent the game into overtime.

Nylander fired a shot wide just before the horn sounded to end regulation time.

The victory gave the Maple Leafs (26-10-3) three wins in their last five outings. The Ducks (21-16-8) lost for the first time in three games.

The three power-play goals gave the Maple Leafs 34 for the season. Only the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues had scored more man-advantage goals entering play Wednesday with 37 and 35, respectively.

With three days off since their last outing, a 3-1 road win against the New York Islanders, Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe mixed up his lines against Anaheim.

He wanted a more-balanced attack with his top three units, so Keefe placed Auston Matthews, Marner and Nylander on separate lines.

Matthews centred Michael Bunting and Ondrej Kase. Marner skated alongside captain Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. Nylander was the right side of David Kampf and Alex Kerfoot.

But Toronto’s offence clicked when all the big scorers hopped over the boards for man-advantage situations.

The Ducks arrived on a roll by opening their five-game road swing with impressive victories against the defending-champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.

But the Maple Leafs had their way with Anaheim early on, outshooting the Ducks 31-11 through 40 minutes.

Anaheim did manage to snatch an early 1-0 lead with a fluky goal. Maple Leafs fourth-liner Pierre Engvall attempted to sweep away the puck from the Toronto crease, but his clearing attempt bounced off linemate Jason Spezza and into the goal.

Anaheim centre Sam Steel was given credit for the goal.

Ducks goalie John Gibson, who will be going to the NHL all-star game next week with Anaheim forward Troy Terry, kept his team in front until the Maple Leafs struck for a pair of power-play goals in the first.

Gibson made a brilliant left pad stop on Nylander, who failed to knock in a rebound off the end boards midway through the first frame.

Marner scored for the fourth straight game with a bullet one-timer from 36 feet. Nylander converted a Tavares pass from behind the net for a 2-1 lead.

The go-ahead goal was Nylander’s 17th of the season in his 39th game, matching the 17-goal output in 51 games last year.

Nylander, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal to give Toronto a 2-1 lead in the first period. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Tavares put the Maple Leafs ahead 3-1 with a late 5-on-3 power-play goal in the second, slamming in a Marner pass.

But the Ducks stayed close because as the second penalty expired to Jakob Silfverberg, he jumped out of the box to score on a 3-on-1 rush.

Toronto was without defenceman Jake Muzzin (concussion), while the Ducks missed defenceman Josh Manson (Covid-19) and forward Sonny Milano (upper body).

Anaheim head coach Dallas Eakins also was sidelined because of COVID-19. Assistant coach Mike Stothers ran the bench in his absence.