For the first time all night,
The New York Rangers goalie stood as still as stone, hands down at his sides, his face tilting slightly toward the rafters as if wondering what more he could do.
All night long, he had turned the Kings away, stopping no less than 40 shots on goal. But the last puck, a quick snap from Kings forward
"It's a fast game," Lundqvist said. "It happens."
That overtime goal did more than give the Kings a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the
"It's disappointing when you lose," he said. "Especially when it's that close."
The 32-year-old Swede carries a lot of weight on his shoulders in this series.
This is a man with an Olympic gold medal and a Vezina Trophy on his resume. Most experts figure that if Rangers are to upset the widely favored Kings, their elite goalie will have to carry them.
"You just try to get pucks at him," Kings forward Tyler Toffoli said. "You know he's going to make big saves."
Whereas his counterpart —
On Wednesday night, he talked about the importance of limiting opportunities against the Kings.
"They try to create something from the corners and from coming down the wing," he said. "Making sure to put rebounds in the right place is going to be key."
For much of the evening, Lundqvist did exactly that. As his team streaked to a 2-0 lead, he deflected shots into the corners and dived on loose pucks.
But he wasn't perfect.
"He had so much time," Lundqvist said of Doughty's goal. "I felt like I was patient and then I still made the first move."
If that was a mistake, the goalie responded in the third period. With his team managing only a few offensive chances, he faced continuous pressure and kept 20 shots out of the net to send the game into overtime.
"Doing what he does," Rangers defenseman
The last shot came at 4:36 in overtime, a turnover in the defensive zone leaving Lundqvist only a split-second to react. Not quite long enough.
Standing in front of his locker afterward, he forced a thin smile and talked about the game being "pretty fun … a lot of action at both ends."