Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers Try To Avoid Another Playoff Defeat At Hands Of Capitals

Henrik Lundqvist has lost to rookie goaltenders from the Washington Capitals twice in his career. In fact, the Rangers’ last two playoff exits have been at the hands of Caps rookie netminders.

In 2008-09, it was Semyon Varlamov who beat Lundqvist’s Rangers in the Conference Quarterfinals, and in 2009-10 it was a Michal Neuvirth's goaltending performance that helped dispatch the Rangers in five games in the first round.

On NBC Sports Network prior to Game 7, the studio crew talked about this fact, and how Lundqvist tries to get over that hump. Keith Jones said he thinks Lundqvist will get it done on Saturday night, but that made me scratch my head a bit.

It’s true that a goaltender can steal a game for his club in the playoffs, but it seems that in a tight-checking series like this one has been, it’s silly to lean on just one player. Just as it’s silly to say Lundqvist has failed to beat the Capitals in two straight playoff appearances. No, the Rangers have.

It’s a team game more so at this time of the year than any other and, if New York is going to advance past Washington this time, they’re going to need more than just Lundqvist leading them there. And if they lose again, it’s hardly an indictment of Lundqvist’s Vezina-caliber play this season.

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