Lundqvist rebounds in spectacular style for NY Rangers

Fri May 30, 2014 12:58am EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just two days after one of the worst nights of his professional career, Henrik Lundqvist was celebrating one of his greatest successes, leading the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup appearance in two decades.

The Swedish goalie is already a cult figure in the Big Apple after spending years saving goals for the Rangers but his popularity soared to legendary status after his roller-coaster week ended in spectacular triumph.

On Tuesday, in Montreal, the Rangers coach Alain Vigneault took the extraordinary step of pulling Lundqvist from the game after he gave up four goals inside the first two periods.

For a player who was named the National Hockey League's outstanding netminder in 2012, it was a humiliating experience. And on that his legions of fans in New York were still coming to grips with.

But on Thursday, Lundqvist was back in the thick of the action, recalled to the starting lineup for Game Six of the series, and he responded in brilliant fashion, stopping all 18 shots that were fired at him as the Rangers won 1-0 to clinch the series.

"It's been tough," he later admitted.

"I kept telling myself all day, believe in what you're doing.

"I've been in that spot before. It gets silly, you get pulled. You have a tough game, but you just have to stay confident."   Continued...

May 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) after beating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports