New York Rangers: Lundqvist is Setting Personal Records


The New York Rangers came close to spending the rest of the postseason on a golf course, but thanks to the King, the Rangers have more work to do in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

If not for Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers would’ve never made it to Round Three.

The 33-year-old goaltender was incredible through both series up against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist tracked the puck like a hawk and made big saves in practically every game, but his most impressive performance had to be in Game Seven of Round Two.

As soon as the puck dropped to start OT, the Rangers were stuck in their own zone. Unable to change lines, their exhaustion was visible; they could barely keep play away from the net, let alone chip the puck out of the zone.

The pressure was on and somehow Lundqvist was blocking one shot after the other.

But Washington held the Rangers in their own zone not only once, but twice. It looked like it was only a matter of time until the puck would find its way across the Rangers goal line, fulfilling Alex Ovechkin‘s prophecy.

It appeared as though only divine intervention could stop the Capitals from taking the series, no matter who was between the pipes.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

But Lundqvist never lost focus. He kept New York alive, blocking all of Washington’s eight shots on goal, and ten terrifying minutes later, Derek Stepan finally ended the game.

In all of Game Seven, Lundqvist made 36 saves for an outstanding .972 SV%. Had anyone else besides Hank been in net during that contest, the Rangers’ race to the Cup would be over. But luckily, Lundqvist was able to pull off an extraordinary performance to help his team reach the Eastern Conference Final.

Now that the Rangers are up against Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning, they can feel confident going forward with Lundqvist in net.

The Swedish native is now second in the league in both goals against average and save percentage with a 1.60 GAA and a .944 SV% in the Playoffs. With those stats, Lundqvist is currently having the best postseason of his NHL career. In fact, he’s never recorded a lower GAA or a higher SV% in all his years spent with the Rangers in either the regular season or the Playoffs.

Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators is the only goalie with a better GAA and SV% at the moment. But keep in mind that the Sens were bumped out of the race in the First Round and Anderson only had four starts. Meanwhile, Lundqvist has had a convincing 12 thus far.

Where does Tampa fit in all of this? Bishop holds a 1.81 GAA (fourth best in the league) and a pretty good .931 SV% (fifth best in the league). So if it comes down to goaltending in this series, as it often does between any two teams in the Playoffs, expect Lundqvist to prevail.

Next: Rangers Face Excruciating Matchup vs. Lightning

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