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Eastern Conference finals Top line Henrik Lundqvist shine as

  • August 4, 2022 12:26 AM EDT

    Henrik Lundqvist, to put it simply, has one job: If the Rangers manage to take a lead,keep it.

    He takes that jobto heart on nights like Tuesday. Led by Lundqvist's36saves and a scoring outburst from their top line, the Rangers grounded the high-flyingLightning seriesand force Game 7.

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    Lundqvist was terrific, to be certain. But that wasexpected. He had won 14 of the last 17 games where the Rangers faced elimination in a playoff series. His numbers during those games a 1.39 goals-against average, a .956 save percentage and two shutouts were of the all-time great variety.

    With hisRangers teammates dealinghim a two-goal lead in the first period, Lundqvist turned David Robertson Jersey aside 29 of30 shots including one robbery ofSteven Stamkos to keep the score 1-0 before the Lightning finally managed another goal halfway through the third. By then, though, the Rangers had the game under wraps, thanks to a five-goal explosion in the final frame that chased Lightning starter Ben Bishop.

    Lundqvist being Lundqvist.

    NHL (@NHL)

    All three players on the Rangers' top line, which had been enduring a dry spell in this series, scored four or more points 13 in all. Derick Bra sardled New Yorkwith a hat trick and two a sists, andRick Nash and J.T. Miller each had a goal and three a sists.The last time a Rangers player had four points Phil Rizzuto Jersey in a game? Flash back almost exactly one calendar year to May 27, when Chris Kreiderdid it in the playoffs last season.

    Bra sardalso had 10 shots on goal in a game in which the Rangers were outshot,39-34. He leads all Rangers scorers in the postseason with nine goals and 16 points in 18 games.

    But back to Lundqvist.

    With him between the pipes, few willbet against the Rangers heading into Game 7, which is set for Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m., Matt Holliday Jersey NBCSN). Lundqvist has won six straight Game 7s, including a 2-1 decision against the Capitals in the second round. In fact, he's allowed just five goals in those games fora .973 save percentage.

    With the win, the Rangers improved to 7-0 in the playoffs when leading after two periods after going 42-0-1 in the regular season.

    That's the formula: Get the lead.Lundqvistwilldo the rest.


    It was former Ranger C.C. Sabathia Jersey Ryan Callahan who had the prettiest goal of the night. But the unsung hero here is Randy Johnson Jersey Anton Stralman, who makes apicture-perfect stretch pa s to thread two Lightning defenders and spring Callahanon a breakaway. It was the first goal in 22 playoff games for Callahan.

    Bishop turns asideNash and makes another incredible save with his back on the rebound, but Miller eventually pokes it home during the ensuing scramble for the Rangers' third goal.

    A look ahead:

    Wednesday's game: Western Conference finals Game 6, Ducks at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. NBCSN