Move over, “King Henrik,” there’s more hockey royalty at Madison Square Garden.
New York Rangers rookie forward Anthony Duclair shared the limelight with goaltender “King” Henrik Lundvist Monday night, scoring his first National Hockey League goal. The tally tied the game on the way to a wild Rangers 5-4 comeback win against the Minnesota Wild at MSG.
Duclair, nicknamed “The Duke” by his teammates, used his speed off the right wing to create open space and fired a snap shot past Darcy Kuemper that knotted the game at 4. Duclair was awarded the third star of the game and the post-game Broadway Hat, a stylish fedora, by his teammates for his outstanding play.
[“That was probably the best moment of my hockey career,” he told MSG Networks after the game. “A lot of stuff is going through my mind there. Obviously a big goal, tied up at four. You know what? When I got back to the bench I was yelling to the boys ‘Let’s go, keep going. It was a big goal for myself and for the team as well.”
With Monday’s score, Duclair has one goal and four assists in seven NHL games. “The Duke” looks like a keeper.
Duclair, a third-round pick (80th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft is proving to be a find for the Rangers. He scored 50 goals in a concussion-shortened 59-game season last season for the Quebec Remaparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. With the Rangers, Head Coach Alain Vigneault has played the 19-year-old from Pointe Claire, Quebec, on the team’s top line and on the power play.
“The Duke” said the puck he scored with is probably heading to his parent’s home in Canada. “I couldn’t do without them,” he said. “My dad’s going to be pretty pumped and my mom’s probably crying right now.”
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As a Rangers fan, I couldn’t be happier with the Duke! He’s a keeper.