By Andrew Gross
Henrik Lundqvist proudly wore the goofy Broadway Hat bestowed upon the Rangers’ best player in a victory. He even joked he might be smiling today, something he’s rarely done this season the day after he plays.
Having the struggling franchise goalie regain his elite form is paramount for the Rangers. If so, Sunday night’s 4-3 win over the Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum, powered by a 3-for-3 power play, certainly can be counted as progress after Cam Talbot made the three previous starts.
“I take every start now as an opportunity to turn this around,” said Lundqvist, who made 15 of his 37 saves in the third period as the Lightning applied constant pressure. “I know it’s going to take more than one game. I have to stay positive. I don’t think I’ve experienced a period like this throughout my whole career.
“When Cam’s been in, he’s been playing great so I’m just trying to smile a little bit even though it’s tough,” added Lundqvist, who improved to 11-15-2 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .906 save percentage after his longest enforced break since Nov. 1-5, 2006. “But a win definitely helps, so you might see me smiling tomorrow.”
Mats Zuccarello paced four different goal scorers for the Rangers (19-19-2), now 1-1-0 on this five-game road trip that continues Tuesday at Florida presumably with Lundqvist in net, with a goal and two assists on the man advantage.
Anders Lindback stopped 25 shots for the Lightning (23-12-4).
“The power play was great,” said Rick Nash, who snapped a seven-game goal-less drought by opening the scoring at 4:30 of the first period with the Rangers’ lone even-strength score. “When we’re struggling, we’re trying to make seam passes before we took that initial shot.”
Lundqvist was crisp as the Rangers took a 4-2 lead in the second period with two power-play goals, getting his right pad on Ondrej Palat’s close-in shot at 11:11, then smothering Alex Killorn’s power-play wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 12:38.
He was brilliant in the third period, particularly in a five-save sequence, including stopping Victor Hedman at the left post and Mark Barberio from the right at 5:16.
To conitnue reading the original article please visit northjersey.com.