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January 1, 2018

Henrik Lundqvist

New York, New York

Rangers - 3, Sabres - 2 (OT)

MODERATOR: We're joined by Henrik Lundqvist.

Q. What's it like to be perfect outdoors?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I haven't thought that much of it right now. It's more about this game, not so much about the past. We had different types of teams throughout the years, but today it was all about today.

And it was a lot of fun, going into practice yesterday, bringing the family here. And it's just a fun experience to be part of and something you don't take for granted for sure.

We was also discussed it in the room that we're not going to enjoy this and look back and it's a great memory unless you win this game. I just thought we played pretty good. We had a great start and then a couple of penalties that put us on our heels a little bit.

Buffalo, I thought, played really well, worked extremely hard to get pucks to the net and guys to the net, made it pretty tough. But overall I thought we were the better team 5-on-5, but their power play gave definitely them momentum and energy to the game.

Q. How as a goalie are you able to deal with all the distractions, the shadows, the sun, like all the different factors? It must be difficult.
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I think you just try to get used to it. Obviously practice yesterday was important to just get used to the lighting. And it's a different feeling not having the crowd behind the glass. It gives a very different feel to how you see situations and how close they are.

But after warm-ups you come in here and that was the only time I had a hard time to see, being outside and come back in the room when it's going from so bright to dark. Other than that it was fine.

You get used to it and it was maybe the first half, the first period where you had a lot of sun. And then you kind of slowly move away.

So I thought the ice was great. It wasn't too cold in my opinion. And dress well and just really enjoyed the whole thing. Hopefully the fans dressed well and didn't feel too cold out there.

For me personally, I enjoyed every minute, starting yesterday. And thank the Mets for hosting us. It's been awesome since we walked through the doors yesterday, the way they've been taking care of everything. And it's a nice room to be in, too, a lot of space.

Q. With the shadows in particular -- Shattenkirk was talking about having to be careful not to pass the puck to the wrong team just because the sun was so glaring he couldn't tell which jersey was which -- the shadows seemed pretty severe during the first period. Did you have to do anything to manage that at all?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Like I said, I got used to it during warmups and maybe the first ten minutes of the first period. That was the only time I really thought about the shadows. After that I didn't really think about it.

It was more because it was so cold the way the puck was bouncing. It was a couple times where the puck bounced right in front of me, and it's hard to know how high it is going to bounce here. So you want to make sure you get your body behind it and glove behind it.

Other than that, they did a great job of keeping the ice at a perfect condition and clean from a lot of snow, obviously, and four or five times a period. But it was a fast ice. That was probably the toughest part for me to not slide out of the situation because you had so much speed coming into every situation. So way faster than I'm used to normally.

Q. Many of us have seen you race the ice in exultation in overtime in this area through the years. Was this as exciting or more considering the environment?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: You know what, you don't play that many times outside. So obviously every game means a lot to you, you want to make the most of it. And it's game 38 or something for us, but when you're playing this game, this is it. That's the only one.

And you want to make sure you get the two points. You want to make sure you can be able to sit down in a week or this summer or look back as this is a great memory yesterday, today. So you need to win. And we did.

And you'll take it all in tonight and enjoy it and tomorrow you start preparing for next game. But I really appreciate the support from everybody around us because there's a lot going into this game, preparation from the league, from the Mets. But our own organization, too, who put this together. So I think everybody had a really good time this week. It's been awesome.

Q. Just before the penalty and the winning goal the Sabres came in on a 2-on-1, you talked about how fast the ice was. And I think Ryan McDonagh just got a tick on the pass to Eichel, and it went through his legs. Can you talk about how the thin the margin of error is in a game like that, because if that goes to him, who knows. You can say you're going to stop it, but...
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I think playing a game like this, like I just said, this is just one game. And so it's kind of like playing bowl championships or Olympics or even a Game 7, where this is it: One mistake could cost you the game and kind of the memory of it as well.

So you have to be really sharp and stay on top of things. So last seven, eight minutes I know the next goal is going to be a winner. It's going to be tough to come back from that. So every chance we had or they had, it was like, okay, game's on the line here.

And I just talked to Mark here a couple minutes ago, he made such a big play on the rebound, it was two minutes or a minute and a half to go, right in front.

And I could feel it for a split of a second, the game was right there for them. But he made a huge play and blocked it and it took it to overtime. So it's the difference between winning and losing, especially in a game like this where two teams worked really hard. It came down to special teams, and we did a good job.

Q. For you this is the fourth outdoor game, three different venues, three different configurations, do any of them give you an additional challenge? And which was the best conditions out of the three different places you've played in?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I can't really pick one. I felt like first one, obviously, that was very special because it was hard to know what to expect. So I remember that one for that reason.

The next time, first time in New York, that was very special, and playing at Yankee Stadium. And now here, getting an opportunity to do something really special with this team. Every one had its own feel to it. And I enjoyed every experience.

Obviously the last time we got two opportunities. But, really, all the people that put this together, the league, and I think they do such a great job. I could easily play one every year. And I would not be tired of it, because you play the two games, but to get this opportunity in front of so many people and excitement around the game, it doesn't get old to me.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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