How has Henrik Lundqvist been so good in Game 7?
That’s what reporters wanted to know today in New York, where Friday night the Rangers and Lightning will play the seventh and deciding game of the Eastern Conference Final.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Lundqvist has won six straight Game 7s. He’s only lost one of them in his career, back in 2009 against Washington. Amazingly, the two goals he surrendered in that 2-1 defeat are the most he’s ever surrendered in a Game 7. Since then, he’s allowed one, one, zero, one, one, and one.
In other words, seven Game 7s. Seven goals allowed. Total.
Yet the 33-year-old doesn’t have any special trick that he uses to rise to the occasion.
“I just try to go out and do my job,” he said. “You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork. I feel comfortable when we’re in the right place, when we’re doing good things out there. I feel like it’s easier for me to focus on my game, and that’s a big part of winning these games too. You focus on the team concept and the things that brought you to this moment.”
He added, “You need to stay in the moment really. Just control the things you can control. I keep saying that every time. Tiring of hearing it. But I think that’s the most important thing.”
Lundqvist has already won a Game 7 in these playoffs, stopping 35 of 36 shots in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Capitals in the second round.
But despite all the history on his side, he knows the Lightning won’t go down easily. Tampa Bay has already won two games at MSG in the series.
“They’ve been playing really well in our building,” he said. “You have to respect that. They’re a really good team, so we have to play our best.”