If Henrik Lundqvist’s reaction to a 2-0 loss in Game 3 represents the rest of the locker room, the New York Rangers’ mood could be described as “positive, if puzzled.”
The Rangers carried much of the play (including firing 35 shots to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 15) in Monday’s defeat, yet they couldn’t get the job done. Lundqvist expressed some mixed emotions after the game, as New York Newsday’s Steve Zipay reports.
“I’m sitting here trying to figure out how we lost this game,” Lundqvist said. “We did a lot of good things. It’s not over.”
There are plenty of reasons why the Rangers lost, even if they played well during significant stretches of this game.
Sidney Crosby finally scored and the Penguins nailed both of their biggest breakaway opportunities. Marc-Andre Fleury was both fantastic and lucky. There’s also the fatigue factor that Alain Vigneault & Co. finally acknowledged after the game. (One may also point to that squalid power play, too …)
Vigneault agreed that his team played well and hopes they can carry that over into Game 4:
It has to be deflating to fall down 2-1 in a 48-hour period after gutting out a Game 1 win on short rest, but Lundqvist is correct: the Rangers are still very much in this series. They could even things up at 2-2 in Game 4 on Wednesday, so it’s understandable that the Blueshirts are optimistic through the frustration and exhaustion.