Fueling Lundqvist: Ovechkin guarantees a win, Kuznetsov says Holtby’s better
In the wake of another lost opportunity to eliminate Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers, Capitals Captain, Alex Ovechkin guaranteed victory, not once but twice.
Ovechkin: “We almost tie the game and the character of this group, it shows a lot. We’re going to come back and win the series.”
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 11, 2015
Ovechkin doubled down at the end. “We’re going to play our game and we’re going to come back and we’re going to play Montreal or Tampa.” — Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 11, 2015
Ovechkin scored goals in games 1 & 2 but has been blanked in his last 4 straight. Maybe yelling in Henrik Lundqvist‘s ear “All Series Baby” after his goal in game 1 wasn’t a great idea. In the last 4 games of this series, Lundqvist has stonewalled him on 17 straight shots.
Now, Ovechkin has dropped a guarantee. This is something Lundqvist heard before too when Ovi’s buddy Evgeni Malkin did that last year. After his Penguins were up 3-1 in the series and watching the Rangers comeback to knot it up he guaranteed a win. Once before game 6, then again prior to game 7. “We know we can win tomorrow, and we’ll do it,” Malkin said smiling.
Lundqvist must’ve heard because he proceeded to shut the door on Malkin and his friends. “The King” as he’s called, stumped the Pens and completed the first ever comeback down 3-1 in franchise history. Now, Lundqvist is looking to backstop the first 3-1 comeback in consecutive years in NHL history.
Lundqvist 11-3, 1.36, .957 and 2 shutouts last 14 facing elimination. So there’s that. — Rangers Report (@rangersreport) May 7, 2015
As far as game 7’s go, Lundqvist has a 5-1 lifetime record with a GAA of 1.00 and a SV% of .940. So when it comes to thriving under pressure, he and the Rangers have a proven record of coming out on top. When it comes to elimination games at Madison Square Garden, Lundqvist and the Blueshirts have won 9 straight.
Henrik Lundqvist looked exhausted after last night’s win and admittedly said so. “I was tired going into the third period already, so I tried to feel the energy,” he told the NY POST after game 6. “With five minutes left, I was not ready for the season to be over, so I was trying to find reasons to stay confident. It was by far the toughest game of the playoffs for me to play.”
Trotz on Ovechkin: “That’s what leaders do. I think leaders say this is what we need to do, this is what we’re going to do.”
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) May 11, 2015
Unfortunately for the Caps, due to scheduling Lundqvist will be getting an extra days rest. Game 7 is set for Wednesday at the Garden and Lundqvist will be ready. The rest should also help Braden Holtby, who also looked fatigued lately. After only giving the Rangers 5 goals in the first 297 minutes of this series, he’s allowed 6 in the last 73.
Of course, Evgeny Kuznetsov added some more fuel to the fire when he told reporters, “our goalie is better” heading into Game 7. Not sure the rookie should have made that statement either. If Lundqvist hears that one too, Ovechkin’s guarantee may just be that much harder to fulfill.
Maybe they both should’ve watched this clip before opening their mouths.