Lundqvist helps give Rangers a reprieve

Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers made 40 saves in Game 4.
Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers made 40 saves in Game 4. (KATHY WILLENS / AP)
Posted: June 14, 2014

NEW YORK - The King wasn't going to let the Kings get crowned at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.

"We definitely didn't want to see the Cup come out on our ice," New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said after the Game 4 escape. "Just the thought of it makes me sick."

Despite being badly outplayed in Game 4, the New York Rangers stole a victory and earned the right to play in Los Angeles on Friday night.

"I've never been so happy to have a long flight and a time change," defenseman Dan Girardi said after the Rangers avoided elimination with a 2-1 win over the Kings at Madison Square Garden.

Los Angeles, which has a three-games-to-one series lead, can earn its second Stanley Cup in the last three seasons on Friday. After getting to within 2-1 on Dustin Brown's second-period goal Wednesday, the Kings dominated. They outshot the Rangers the rest of the way, 26-3, but couldn't put another shot past Lundqvist, who is known as the King.

"I think we can do a better job getting to him," said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who leads all scorers with 26 points in the playoffs. "We didn't make it tough on him. The pucks were sitting there. But the pucks he's going to see, he's going to stop."

The Rangers won despite being outshot, 41-19, including 15-1 in the final period. "I thought we took over the game," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said.

They did, but Lundqvist made 40 saves and was at his best. And twice when pucks got behind him and were at the goal line, he was bailed out on clears by defenseman Anton Stralman and center Derek Stepan.

With 1 minute, 11 seconds left in regulation, Stepan used his glove to swipe away the puck after it went past Lundqvist and got stuck on a pile of ice chips, inches from the goal line. "Sometimes, the hockey gods are there," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.  

Breakaways. L.A. will tie an NHL record Friday by playing its 26th playoff game this season, matching the 1987 Flyers and 2004 Calgary Flames. . . . The Rangers are 11-2 in their last 13 games when facing elimination, and Lundqvist has a 1.30 goals-against average and .959 save percentage in that span. . . . Kings forward Justin Williams, a former Flyer, has an NHL-best plus-13 rating in the playoffs.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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