After winning the first period in Chicago against the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers took a 2-0 lead into the second period. In that 2nd period, Rangers starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist gave up a powerplay goal to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews that no one blames him for giving up. However, almost immediately after that, he gave up a second goal on a wrist shot from Brandon Bollig to tie the game at two that frankly Lundqvist should have had without much difficulty.
After the game was tied 2-2 going into the third, many fans, including myself, felt that the Blackhawks were going to just take over the game and leave the Rangers in the dust. Too bad Lundqvist had other ideas.
In that third period, Lundqvist probably played his best period of the season, stopping all 11 shots, with the majority being real quality scoring chances, since the Blackhawks are deadly from just about anywhere on the ice. The key saves Lundqvist made in that third period to help the Rangers hold on to what would eventually be a stunning 3-2 regulation road victory against the Blackhawks, were a mini breakaway from Marian Hossa that sprung him from a great stretch pass that Lundqvist would challenge him and make a great blocker save, and then a flurry of shots he faced in the final few minutes when the Blackhawks were looking for the equalizer. A lot of those shots were from within really close, where either Lundqvist made the save, the Rangers’ defense blocked the shot, or the shot just went wide.
All in all, Lundqvist came up huge for the Rangers in that third period and could not have held on to that 3-2 win in Chicago if it was not for him. Overall, it might not have been Lundqvist’s best overall game in a season that he has gone through many struggles, but that third period last night in Chicago was arguably the best single period Lundqvist has had all season.
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