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Capitals' Henrik Lundqvist Says 5-Hour Heart Surgery 'Went Really Well'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Washington Capitals goalie Henrik Lundqvist provided an update Friday after undergoing open-heart surgery.

Lundqvist tweeted that the five-hour procedure was successful, and he thanked those responsible for helping it go so smoothly:

Henrik Lundqvist @hlundqvist35

Day 3. Surgery went really well. About 5 hours to get it all taken care of. Really appreciate the great staff here at the Clevland Clinic. Last few days has been pretty crazy but feel like I’m in really good hands. Every day is a step in the right direction 👍🏻 https://t.co/wjMTosFWQy

It was announced last month that Lundqvist would miss the entire 2020-21 season because of a heart condition after signing a one-year deal with the Caps in free agency.

The 38-year-old Lundqvist spent the first 15 years of his career with the New York Rangers and established himself as one of the best goaltenders of his era during that time.

Dubbed King Henrik, the Swedish star was named to the All-Star Game five times, won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie in 2012, was named team MVP nine times and led the Blueshirts all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.

He also led Sweden to a gold medal victory over Finland at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

In 887 career NHL regular-season games, Lundqvist has posted a record of 459-310-96 with a 2.43 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 64 shutouts.

Among qualifying players, Lundqvist is eighth all-time in goalie games played, sixth in wins, 23rd in GAA and 12th in save percentage.

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Lundqvist's numbers have been down in recent years, however, especially last season when he had a career-worst 3.16 GAA and .905 save percentage.

Because of his decline and the emergence of both Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev in goal, the Rangers decided to move on from Lundqvist during the offseason.

The Capitals, who lost Braden Holtby to the Vancouver Canucks in free agency, then signed King Henrik to a one-year deal in hopes that he could be a part-time starter and mentor for young goaltender Ilya Samsonov.

With Lundqvist out, Samsonov will carry the load for Washington during the 2020-21 season, while Craig Anderson, Pheonix Copley and Zach Fucale will battle it out to be the backup.

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