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Henrik Lundqvist can't believe Rangers' position after Game 2 loss to Kings

Los Angeles KingsNational Hockey LeagueSportsIce HockeyHenrik LundqvistDwight KingNew York Rangers
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Henrik Lundqvist sat alone at his locker stall for minutes, his face resting on his hands.

He rose after the long delay to zip his windbreaker to the top notch, rubbing both sides of his beard with his hands.

Knowing that his New York Rangers now trail the Kings 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final after a 5-4 double-overtime loss is cause for such depression.

Worse is the thinking that it was all due to a bad call.

“I'm extremely disappointed about that call,” Lundqvist said. “Or non-call.”

The definition of goaltender interference is left to the discretion of NHL officials, and is not a matter subject to video review.

One minute and 58 seconds into the third period, as the Kings pushed to rally from a two-goal deficit for a third consecutive game Saturday night at Staples Center, Kings forward Dwight King tested the limits of the interference rule by crowding Lundqvist.

Kings forward Justin Williams weaved with the puck and shifted a pass back to defenseman Matt Greene while King began leaning toward Lundqvist, angling to get in front of the star goalie with some additional involvement from Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

As Greene released his shot, King's forward motion increased, causing a three-way confluence of puck, King and Lundqvist in front of the net.

The puck deflected off King to the net, King falling on a heap atop Lundqvist's right leg, the goalie begging for a whistle to negate the goal. It never came.

“I was just trying to get to the net front,” King said. “Obviously, Justin made a good play to get it to Matt, who put it on net, and somehow it went off me. We were just battling for position.”

“That's a wrist shot that I'm just going to reach out for, and I can't even move,” Lundqvist said afterward.

A period earlier, a penalty was called on Lundqvist's teammate, Benoit Pouliot, for banging into Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

New York Coach Alain Vigneault was asked if King committed interference. He opted not to risk a fine by responding: “Ask the NHL.”

Lundqvist had no such worries in the league's biggest series.

“We've got to be consistent with that rule,” he said. “If they don't call that, you can't call what they called in the second period.”

King's goal was followed less than six minutes later by more pressure on a distracted Lundqvist that allowed the Kings' Marian Gaborik to score his 13th playoff goal by following his own rebound.

The Gaborik goal allowed the game to proceed to double overtime, and also gave the Kings further confirmation they can break through against the man considered the major obstacle between them and a second Stanley Cup in three years.

Over the last three seasons, Lundqvist has given up five goals or more only five times in 221 games.

“Try to be positive,” Lundqvist said after Kings forward Dustin Brown won the game, deflecting in a Willie Mitchell shot from the blue line 10:26 into overtime.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles KingsNational Hockey LeagueSportsIce HockeyHenrik LundqvistDwight KingNew York Rangers
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