Henrik Lundqvist suddenly left the ice at 12:06 p.m. early in the Rangers’ first postseason practice Monday for unknown reasons, returned to the ice at 12:20 to resume working with the team, then waved Alain Vigneault for a replacement and left for good at 12:26 p.m.
The first time, Vigneault followed Lundqvist into the locker room and emerged with a smile, but the coach’s poker face is legendary.
Minutes later, a Rangers equipment manager was scrambling to get into a locker room to dress as a second goalie.
Henrik Lundqvist posts a 2.48 goals against average for the Rangers this season.
During Lundqvist’s initial 14-minute absence, the Rangers took shots on backup Antti Raanta in one net and a ‘shooter tutor’ goalie in the other.
He returned and worked with the power play in front of him but eventually had a quick chat with Vigneault and left for good, replaced by the manager in net.
The Rangers open the playoffs on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.