The New York Rangers made it to the second round largely thanks to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s efforts. He didn’t do it alone, but he was by far their best player with shutouts in Games 6 and 7 against the Washington Capitals.
In their second-round opener versus Boston, Lundqvist managed 45 saves, but the Rangers still suffered a 3-2 overtime loss.
If there’s one area that the 31-year-old netminder has fallen short in during his career, it’s been in playoff overtime games and it looks this time, it got to him.
“I’ve got to be really careful to ask myself the right question there,” Lundqvist said, according to the New York Daily News. “Because have I played bad in overtime? No. Can I score? No. Is it frustrating? Yes. It was terrible in overtime, but I’ve just got to stick with it, play my game and hopefully it will turn around.”
To be clear, Lundqvist doesn’t mean to imply that he was perfect or blameless for last night’s defeat. In fact, he put Brad Marchand’s game-winning goal on himself.
“I thought I made a bad decision,” Lundqvist told NHL.com. “I was too focused on the puck. I kind of knew (Marchand) was coming in the middle, but I was just too locked in on the puck.”
You can watch Marchand’s winner below:
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Tortorella admits Rangers got ‘spanked’ in OT
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: