Playing would have put Lundqvist at ‘big risk of having a stroke’

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As much as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would like to be playing between the pipes to aide the New York Rangers in their battle to secure a playoff spot and perhaps even the Metropolitan Division title, his current vascular injury is not something that he can attempt to simply power through.

“If I would keep playing I’d run a big risk of having a stroke, and that’s why you have to make sure you play this one safe because it’s not a sore shoulder or elbow or something like that,” Lundqvist explained to NHL.com.

With that in mind, the 32-year-old goaltender is committed to waiting until he’s completely healed before he returns. For the next two-to-three weeks he’s limited to light cardio. At that point, his condition will be re-evaluated.

“If it was a sore shoulder I’d probably be playing in a week or something,” Lundqvist said. “Here I just have to listen to the doctors because it’s that serious. I feel great walking around and doing different things, but you don’t want to push this injury as long as it’s there. But my plan is to come back and be super excited and ready to play in the last push of the season and the playoffs.”

He suffered the injury when he took a puck to the throat on Saturday. He stayed in that game and even led the Rangers to a 6-3 victory over Florida on Monday. He started experiencing headaches though and was examined further as a result.

With Lundqvist sidelined, 27-year-old Cam Talbot is trying to fill the void.

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