Rangers goalie will be key player in squad's quest to defend gold medal
Sunday, 12.27.2009 / 3:45 PM / News
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is going back to the Olympics to help Sweden defend its gold medal.
On Sunday, Lundqvist was one of 23 players named to the 2010 Swedish Olympic team, which will compete at the Vancouver Games in February. He is one of 13 players returning from the squad that won the 2006 gold medal at Torino, Italy.An NHL rookie when he starred for Sweden in 2006, Lundqvist will again be the No. 1 goalie for his native country. He will be backed up by Stefan Liv, who was also a member of the team in Torino. Sweden's third goalie will be Jonas Gustavsson of the Maple Leafs.
Others returning from the 2006 Swedish team are defenseman Niklas Kronwall and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay defensemen Mattias Ohlund. Coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson also brought back forwards Daniel Alfredsson of Ottawa, Peter Forsberg, who is now playing in Sweden, Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom, Columbus'Fredrik Modin and Samuel Pahlsson, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg.
Four of the 13 returnees are currently out of action with injuries and could miss the Olympics. Injury replacements are allowed until Feb. 15, when final rosters are registered with the IIHF.
In addition to Gustavsson, the NHL newcomers to the Olympic team include Nicklas Backstrom, Loui Eriksson, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Weinhandl, Tobias Enstrom, Doug Murray, Henrik Tallinder, Johnny Oduya and Swedish leaguer Magnus Johansson.
The NHL Olympic break begins on Feb. 16. Sweden's first game is scheduled for Feb. 17, and the gold-medal game is scheduled for Feb. 28.
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