Henrik Lundqvist (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Facing elimination in Tuesday's Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Final series against Tampa Bay, the Rangers needed a big game out of star goalie Henrik Lundqvist. And he started out well, making a stunning stop on Lightning star Steven Stamkos to preserve the Blueshirts' lead.
If the New York Rangers are going to extend the Eastern Conference Final to seven games by winning Game 6 against the Lightning, they're going to need star goalie Henrik Lundqvist to play to or above his normally stellar standards. And through the first period Tuesday in Tampa Bay, Lundqvist lived up to his reputation as a big-game goalie, robbing Bolts phenom Steven Stamkos with a brilliant pad save.
The Blueshirts were up 1-0 just past the 14-minute mark of the opening frame when Tampa winger Ryan Callahan fanned on a shot attempt and the puck drifted to Stamkos, who looked to have an open net before Lundqvist threw his left pad out to turn aside the Lightning captain's shot and preserve the lead:
The save was impressive, and not just because of Lundqvist's incredible reflexes that permitted him to react in time to stop the puck; it also allowed the Rangers to jump out to a 2-0 lead less than a minute later on J.T. Miller's first goal of the playoffs.