Call it King Henrik's homecoming. The Rangers will open next season with two games in Stockholm, on Oct. 7 against the Kings and Oct. 8 against the Ducks, the NHL confirmed Monday. It will be the second European opener for the Rangers, who swept the Lightning in Prague in October 2008.
After practice, Lundqvist told Newsday that he had often played in Stockholm's Ericsson Globe, which resembles a giant golf ball. "It's got a high ceiling, so it never gets really loud," he said.
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Lundqvist wondered if the Rangers will play an exhibition game in Gothenburg against his former Swedish League team, Frolunda. "You really should see Gothenburg," he said, and offered to recommend his favorite Stockholm restaurants and music clubs. "I'll give you a list."
Torts: We deserved berth
John Tortorella, bitter that the NHL's tiebreaker system -- which eliminated shootout wins -- could have cost the Rangers a playoff spot, said his team "deserved" to be in.
"I think the hockey gods, they don't screw around with you that often, and they thought what happened was supposed to happen," he said.
He called the Capitals series "the next round of the playoffs for us . . . It's a whole different situation when you're being chased for as long as we have, handling that type of pressure . . . We're a confident group."
Carl Hagelin, 22, the University of Michigan senior who was the Rangers' sixth-round draft pick in 2007, signed a contract and will report to the AHL's Connecticut Whale. The left wing was 18-31-49 in 44 games.