Posted April 25, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New York Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Henrik Lundqvist gave a wink and a smile when asked about his postgame tirade after the New York Rangers stayed alive with a Game 6 win at Ottawa.
The usually mild-mannered star goalie, who could be in line to win the Vezina Trophy for the first time, wasn't really in the mood to rehash it. There are much bigger things on his mind and the minds of his teammates, like beating the Senators at home in Game 7 and moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Rangers returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since winning at Ottawa on Monday and forcing a decisive game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. They were more than happy to discuss the improved power play that produced two of New York's goals in the 3-2 victory in Game 6 and the benefits of having this final game on home ice.
''Mentally, you just try to block everything you can't control. Just control your emotion and focus on the right things,'' said Lundqvist, who was announced Wednesday as one of three Vezina finalists for goalie of the year. ''So far, home advantage hasn't really played out that well for anybody, but hopefully our crowd can be the difference and help us push our game here and get some confidence right away.
''There's no better feeling than to win at home, so we're going to do whatever we can to win this game.''
Home teams were only 17-28 in the first round of the playoffs, heading into Game 7 of the Boston-Washington series on Wednesday night.
The Rangers have a spotty record in Game 7s, winning all three at home but going 3-5 overall. They haven't hosted a Game 7 since 1994 when they had back-to-back winner-take-all games in the Eastern Conference finals and Stanley Cup finals. That was also the last time New York was the No. 1 seed.
Since then, the Rangers have made only one Game 7 appearance, losing to Washington in the first round of the 2009 playoffs after leading the series 3-1.
Rangers coach John Tortorella and forward Brad Richards won a pair of Game 7s in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, capturing the Eastern Conference finals and Stanley Cup finals in series that went the distance.
''We have talked about how we're going to enjoy something that not a lot of people get to do,'' Richards said. ''It's not the Stanley Cup or the finals, but Game 7s are something you don't forget. It's a great opportunity for everybody to step up.''
Richards was chosen as the playoffs MVP eight years ago.
''I think it calms down a lot of guys to have guys that have been a part of things like this before,'' Lundqvist said of Richards, in his first season with the Rangers. ''All year he has stepped up at critical moments, and it just shows what kind of player he really is. Hopefully he can keep that going.''
The Senators are 0-4 in Game 7s, including three road losses. They haven't been in one since losing at Toronto in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.
''Game 7 in Madison Square Garden ... the stage doesn't get much bigger than that,'' Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson told the team's official website. ''It's a great opportunity. We still feel we've got a good chance.''
The Rangers got key contributions from youngsters such as Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider with the season on the line. Stepan, in his second NHL season, had a goal and two assists in Game 6. Kreider, playing in just his fourth NHL game of any kind, netted his first goal, and it stood up as the winner.
''It was just a big step for where my game is at right now,'' the 21-year-old Stepan said. ''I needed to find a way to contribute and help out. I felt Game 5 was the start and it carried over to Game 6.
''As a team, we're just making steps toward the way we want to play. It's coming and it's been coming all series long.''
The Rangers have been building to this moment throughout this season as they claimed the top seed in the East. They expected a tough series from the eighth-seeded Senators, but perhaps not this tough.
Tortorella stressed that home-ice advantage doesn't really kick in until a series reaches Game 7, but then declined to explain why.
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was given an extra day off from practice as he mends from a finger injury sustained when he blocked a shot in Game 6. There was no update on Brian Boyle, who sat out Monday night after sustaining a concussion from a hit by Ottawa's Chris Neil in Game 5.
The already feisty series could get even rougher in the final meeting.
''It's pretty funny to say that, but I can see it,'' Senators forward Nick Foligno told the team's website. ''The intensity is going to get raised and there's a lot of emotion involved. When you see a guy seven times in a row, there's going to be battles that ensue. You develop a bit of a dislike for each other, and that's going to be the case in New York.
''We have to make sure we channel that in the right direction and use it to our advantage in battling hard, and make sure we're the team outworking the Rangers.''
Lundqvist said he hadn't talked to anyone from the NHL in response to his critical remarks after Game 6, when he said, ''Someone wants them back in the game, obviously, because there's no other explanation,'' after Jason Spezza got Ottawa within one in the final minute.
Lundqvist contended that the goal shouldn't have counted because he felt Neil kicked it in, and he was interfered with in the crease.
''There's a lot of emotions out there, at the end of the game, and there's a lot on the line,'' Lundqvist said Wednesday. ''Sometimes you do stuff that maybe you should've thought it through before you say something. But I moved on.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The New York Rangers salvaged their season with an uber important 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators last night at Scotiabank Place, but goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was still fuming after the final buzzer, and he had every right to be. With 39 seconds left in the third period, Jason Spezza scored a goal that shouldn't have counted for two reasons:
1) The puck was clearly swiped...
To the surprise of no one (hence the sarcastic title), the National Hockey League has announced that New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been named a finalist for the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the League's best goaltender during the regular season. This is the fourth time in Lundqvist's seven-year career that he has been named a finalist for...
… seriously, have you EVER heard Henrik Lundqvist come out and say ANYTHING like this before? Absolutely not. So you know Henrik is totally pissed off over this. He’s right, someone wanted Ottawa back in this game. Probably the same people who wanted Philadelphia back in the Winter Classic game as well. It’s a total [...]
In no surprise whatsoever, Henrik Lundqvist was named a finalist for the Vezina trophy this season. Lundqvist had by far the best season of his career this year, posting a 1.97 GAA (4th in the NHL), a .930 SV% (3rd), 39 wins (3rd), and 8 shutouts (3rd). Lundqvist was the rock in the Rangers net, and despite having his numbers slide a little bit in the final month of the year, when...
… Well deserved! Henrik was a BRICK WALL in the first round and really was the difference when the Senators turned up the tempo.
Henrik Lundqvist was upset with the controversial late goal by the Senators last night and spoke about it post-game.
I don’t know about you, but my feelings are the Rangers won the game, brush the goal off and move on.
Instead, Lundqvist went in the opposite direction.
Photo Credit: NorthJersey.com
With under a minute left in Game 6 of the New York Rangers- Ottawa Senators playoff series, Senators’ forward Chris Neil scored a goal, making it 3-2 Rangers while bringing the Senators within one goal. However, after a few replays, it apparently seemed as though Neil had illegally kicked the puck into a net, an illegal play which would have nullified...
The NHL has announced that Henrik Lundqvist along with the Kings' Jonathan Quick and the Predators' Pekka Rinne have been named finalists for this year's Vezina Trophy as voted by the general managers of each of the 30 clubs.The winner will be announced at the 2012 NHL Awards Show, June 20 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas....a month ago I would have told you that...
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Lightning center Steven Stamkos were named Friday as the finalists for the 2011-12 NHL Hart Memorial Trophy.
Lundqvist, who led New York to a first place finish in the Easter Conference, becomes the first goalie to finish in the top three in league MVP voting since 2006-07.
The Rangers netminder recorded...
NEW YORK (April 25, 2012) — Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.
The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted...
NEW YORK (April 27, 2012)—Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, center Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and center Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded ” to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” the National Hockey League announced today.Continue reading "...
Excellent news for all three nominees for the Vezina Trophy. This is Rinne’s second straight nomination for the Vezina after finishing behind Tim Thomas last year.
The following is the press release obtained via the Predators public relations via the National Hockey League:
“LUNDQVIST, QUICK AND RINNE NAMED VEZINA TROPHY FINALISTS
NEW YORK (April 25, 2012) — Henrik Lundqvist...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, center Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and center Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the finalists for the Hart Trophy for the NHL's most valuable player in the regular season.
The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
Lundqvist, also a finalist for...
For their next installment in their popular gaming franchise, EA Sports has opted to let fans ultimately decide which NHL player they want to adorn the cover of NHL 13. By creating a 60-player tournament bracket in which every organization was represented by two players, EA Sports has encouraged fans to get out and vote for their favorite player(s). I'm assuming that EA created...