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Therrien: ‘Phenomenal’ Lundqvist ‘stole the game’ for New York

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At the end of a day where goaltending was the No. 1 storyline, Michel Therrien decided to stick with the narrative.

“The reason we lost the game was [Henrik] Lundqvist,” Therrien said following Monday’s 3-1 loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, per NHL.com. “Lundqvist was phenomenal. Phenomenal. Stole the game.”

Lundqvist was brilliant tonight, stopping 40 of 41 shots for a .975 save percentage. It was the Swedish netminder’s first 40-save effort of this postseason and the fourth time in the last five games he’s held the opponent to just a single goal.

Also, this:

What’s more, Lundqvist is now riding a five-game winning streak and over that stretch, has stopped 162 of 168 shots faced — so while Therrien is right in saying Lundqvist was phenomenal on Monday, it really goes beyond that. The 32-year-old has the look of a man on a mission; a man determined to get to the first-ever Stanley Cup Final of his illustrious career and knowing that, with Boston and Pittsburgh out of the picture and Carey Price no longer an option for Montreal, this postseason by far his best shot at getting there.

“My goal is to leave it all out here,” Lundqvist said. “I want to inspire teammates.”

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if Montreal can get after King Henrik. Coming into Game 2, there was much talk about the Habs exacting a measure of revenge for Chris Kreider’s series-ending collision with Carey Price but, outside of an early first-period skirmish with Brendan Gallagher, Lundqvist’s kitchen wasn’t exactly cluttered and, even if it was, there’s no guaranteeing the strategy would work. Following the loss, Montreal sounded like a team content with its effort level and the number of scoring chances put on goal, only to be thwarted by No. 30 time and time again.

“I don’t know if we can focus on what he’s giving us,” P.K. Subban said. “We’re getting pucks to the net, we’re just not getting the bounces right now. We just have to stick with it, we’re going to get the bounces at some point and the puck’s going to go in for us.”

That’s what the Habs will keep telling themselves, anyway.

 

Video: Gaborik (lower-body) not expected to return after awkward collision

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The L.A. Kings are expected to be without forward Marian Gaborik for the remainder of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers.

Gaborik was involved in a collision with Dominic Moore at the Kings’ blue line late in the first period, and L.A. up 2-1.

Gaborik, 33, hobbled off the ice, favoring his left leg. In 53 games this season, Gaborik has 11 goals and 21 points.

 

Video: Bergeron questionable versus Wild; could that be the result of his latest fight?

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The Boston Bruins could be without Patrice Bergeron for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

He’s currently listed as questionable, according to the Bruins. The details are sketchy right now, however Bergeron was involved in a fight with former teammate Blake Wheeler during Thursday’s game against the Jets, and didn’t play much in the third period — only four shifts and 3:15 of ice time.

(Granted, he did score in the third period, giving him 21 goals on the season.)

Why Bergeron was fighting is also worth debating.

Replays show Bergeron and Wheeler caught each other with a healthy slash in the neutral zone during the second period. A few minutes later, they squared up at center ice, with Wheeler landing a few heavy punches and a hard takedown.

“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said, as per the Boston Herald.

“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”

The Bruins are third in the Atlantic Division.

But with such a tight Eastern Conference playoff race, Boston needs Bergeron — considered one of the best two-way centers in the world — on the ice and in the lineup rather than dropping the gloves, which is something he doesn’t do often.

Bergeron has four career fights.

A potential loss for the Bruins could be a potential gain for the Wild.

Minnesota’s free fall continues. The Wild has won once in its last 10 games, and currently sits two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West.

 

Flyers staff give Gudas a talking to as questionable hits pile up

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1The list of questionable Radko Gudas hits — some of which he’s been suspended for and others he has escaped discipline — has grown again, prompting Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol to apparently have a chat with the 25-year-old defenseman.

There was no hearing for Gudas from his latest infraction, a major penalty for charging called against him for a hit on Buffalo Sabres rookie Daniel Catenacci on Thursday.

Catenacci has since been put on injured reserve, after he went through concussion protocol, as per John Vogl of the Buffalo News.

The NHL didn’t hand out supplemental discipline in this case, but the Flyers brass held a meeting of their own with Gudas, because hits like this could end costing Philadelphia results and precious points in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Flyers are four points out of a playoff spot.

“There’s a big picture to all of it in terms of our main concern,” Hakstol told CSN Philadelphia. “Our main goal right now is to do all the little things necessary to win hockey games.

“In keeping with that, how individually does everybody do their part to help us win games. That’s the basis of my conversation with Radko.”

In December, Gudas was suspended three games for a head shot on Mika Zibanejad. Earlier this month, he was given a major penalty and game misconduct for clipping in a game against the Habs, but escaped discipline for that, as well.

Gudas, who didn’t want to comment on the hit on Catenacci, also spoke with Flyers GM Ron Hextall about this latest incident.

Asked about that conversation, Gudas told reporters, “Just making sure I pay attention and not get suspended again and make a good hockey play or make a good hit.”

After 11-game absence, Savard (oblique) back for Columbus

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These are pretty decent times for the Blue Jackets.

The team is 7-3-2 in its last 12, recently re-upped with Ryan Murray on a two-year deal and, on Friday, announced that blueliner David Savard has been activated from IR after missing the last 11 games to an oblique strain.

Savard, 25, was a pretty integral part of John Tortorella’s defense when healthy. He averaged over 24 minutes per night and had 15 points through 39 games prior to being sidelined by the ailment.

He’ll presumably draw back into the lineup when the Jackets take on Ottawa on Saturday. No word yet on a corresponding roster move.