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Henrik Lundqvist steals win from Dallas Stars, is still a game-changer

Rory Boylen
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Author: The Hockey News

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Henrik Lundqvist steals win from Dallas Stars, is still a game-changer

Rory Boylen
By:

The Swedish net minder was at his peak in Thursday's 3-2 win in Dallas. After only one period the Stars were outshooting the Rangers 23-6, but were trailing 1-0. The 23 saves Lundqvist made in that one period set a new career high for him over 20 minutes.

Henrik Lundqvist (goalie, 31 years old), is still a game-changer for the New York Rangers.

Shame on those who let his slow start change their opinion of him.

The Swedish netminder was at his peak in Thursday's 3-2 win in Dallas. After only one period the Stars were out-shooting the Rangers 23-6, but trailed 1-0. The 23 saves Lundqvist made in that one period set a new career high for him over 20 minutes.

The truth is, the Stars should have won this game in a cakewalk. New York looked slow compared to the young Lone Star legs of Tyler Seguin, Valeri Nichushkin and Jamie Benn, among others. Dallas out-shot New York 43-27 when it was all said and done. Seguin had his way most of the night, recording seven shots on goal. But he finished minus-1 without a point. All because of Lundqvist.

Through his first seven games, Lundqvist had allowed four goals or more four times. He was miserable and quite un-Hank like. A game he started ended with the other team scoring nine goals. He didn't finish it. Good thing, or else it would have been him Tomas Hertl posterized.

In those four awful games, Lundqvist allowed a total of 18 goals - in the 10 games since, he's only allowed 17 combined. In November alone his save percentage has jumped 10 points. King Henrik is back to his old ways, looking big and unbeatable between the pipes. Jamie Benn at the hash marks with less than three minutes left in a one-goal game? No problem.

The Rangers, now healthy and far enough into the season to be used to the new coaching system, are slowly settling in. The offence was starting to do its job until a recent three-game depression. The best has yet to come, but it's coming. Rick Nash scored a beauty in his second game back from a concussion that was his first of the season. The more ice time he's given as he works his way back, the more potent the Rangers offence will become.

And behind it all is Lundqvist, for nights like these - and worse. The Rangers had no business taking two points Thursday night. In the Metropolitan Division, he's the difference between playoffs and no playoffs.

The King is most definitely not dead.

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Henrik Lundqvist steals win from Dallas Stars, is still a game-changer