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Henrik Lundqvist wears special mask as tribute to former Rangers goaltender Mike Richter

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist wears a helmet with

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist wears a helmet with graphics honoring Stanley Cup champion goalie Mike Richter during the second period against the Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Friday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Henrik Lundqvist started in goal and wore a special mask he had designed as a tribute to Mike Richter and the 1993-94 Stanley Cup champions. The mask was a replica of Richter’s Lady Liberty head design mask, with a picture of Richter himself on one side of it. Lundqvist said he came up with the idea after equipment manager Acasio Marques told him some months ago about the planned celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ’94 Stanley Cup champions.

Richter was honored.

“I learned about that [Thursday],’’ he said. “Unbelievable. It’s a humbling thing. What a great statement by him. He didn’t have to do it, and it’s very classy. I was kind of shocked. A friend of mine sent [a picture of] it to me and it’s really, really nice. And coming from him — I mean, look at the career the man’s put together. He’s been nothing but consistent from the day he arrived; he’s had, just, a remarkable career, so it means a lot coming from him. Just a very classy thing to do and a very humbling thing to see.’’

Lundqvist, who first met Richter when he came over from Sweden after he was drafted in 2000, has long been an admirer of of his fellow goalie. He plans to auction the mask off for charity.

Pionk sits again

Defenseman Neal Pionk was scratched for the second game in a row as Rangers coach David Quinn kept the same lineup that beat Boston in a shootout on Wednesday. Quinn said after Thursday’s practice he wouldn’t keep Pionk out of the lineup too long.

“He’s a big part of what we’ve got moving forward,’’ Quinn said. “He’s had a really good year… I think he’s lost a little bit of his confidence, and I do want to get him back into it more quickly than not.’’

Star-spangled tribute

As part of the celebration, the Rangers played a video of the late John Amirante singing the National Anthem before Game 7 of the ’94 Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver.

New York Sports