The New York Rangers still need to win eight more playoff games to win a Stanley Cup this year, but Henrik Lundqvist already shook a monkey off his back. The Washington Capitals bounced his Rangers out of the playoffs twice before – once in a Game 7, then last year – so Lundqvist told Andrew Gross and others that it probably added a little extra urgency.
“Losing two series against them, it felt like we needed to get this one,” Lundqvist said.
(One cannot help but wonder if Lundqvist used the wrong pronoun and instead should have said “I needed to get this one.”)
With this win, the Rangers are now 5-0 in franchise history when they play Game 7 contests at Madison Square Garden. John Tortorella might have captured the vibe best – and as only he can – by calling home ice advantage “garbage” until that deciding contest comes along. Torts admitted that having those matches at MSG made a difference.
Brian Boyle described how it felt to play a Game 7 at MSG (and most importantly, win).
“It’s an accomplishment,” Boyle said. “We’re not satisfied yet. But it was a lot of fun to play in that one.”
If the Rangers keep winning, then the fun’s only about to begin.