The New York Rangers were out-shot by the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night and, at times, outplayed.
But thanks to Henrik Lundqvist, they weren’t outscored.
Lundqvist stopped 48 of 49 shots in a virtuoso performance as the Rangers beat the ‘Canes 4-1 in Raleigh, earning high praise from head coach John Tortorella.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him play since I’ve been here,” Tortorella told the New York Daily News.
Torts has been the bench boss in New York since Feb. 2009, and it’s hard to argue with his assessment of Lundqvist’s play. The Swedish ‘tender stopped all 14 shots faced in both the first and second periods before stopping 20 of 21 in the final frame — only Zac Dalpe’s snapshot got by.
The Rangers got goals from Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash and Brian Boyle to secure their third win in four games. The victory put them into seventh in the Eastern Conference, tied on 42 points with the Islanders but ahead of their in-state rivals thanks to fewer games played.
Following the contest, Lundqvist reflected on his busy night with a bit of humor for reporters.
“I’m so tired I don’t know what to say right now,” he said, laughing. “Short answers today.”
Here’s more on Lundqvist’s performance from his Rangers teammate, Arron Asham, via Twitter:
What a game by the king could be the best performance by a tender that I have seen #sickgame
— Arron Asham (@TheRealAsham45) April 7, 2013