The New York Rangers battled the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night in what can only be expected to be an epic Eastern Conference Finals.
Henrik Lundqvist hadn’t won a game at the Bell Centre since March 17, 2009 and played backup goaltender during the last four games. Taking the win and overcoming his inability to win against the Canadiens was a great start to the series, proving the Rangers have exactly what it takes to make it to the Stanley Cup.
“Every time you play the game you have to show yourself and your teammates that you can play. So, yeah, we got a great start here and a good win, but it’s about doing it again in the next one,” Lundqvist said. “But obviously we haven’t won that many games in this building, so it’s good to get a great start and know that we when we pay attention to all the details that we can get the result we want.”
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knew that the win was directly related to how Lundqvist was playing:
“Tonight in the second period, the difference was our goaltender. He made some big saves and they were able to pull in from one and you can see that they were pushing, and then when you score a few goals late in the period, we just got a little bit fortunate there and took it home in the third.”
Lundqvist started this game with a less than great record in Montreal with a 4-5-2 record, a 3.87 goals-against average and .876 save percentage. But after a 7-2 win, those numbers can be thrown away.