While the suspension of New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella is getting all the attention before today's Game 6 showdown between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals at MSG, the most important key to the game could be how goalie Henrik Lundqvist bounces back from his worst performance of the series.
Lundqvist was pulled from Game 5 after surrendering four goals on 14 shots. One of them was a soft goal by Matt Bradley from the side of the net. After seeing the puck go in, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau was certain his team would see a different Lundqvist this afternoon.
"Every great goalie, every now and again, makes a mistake. Thing that worries me about that ... when I saw it go in, I thought 'He's going to be great the next game,'" said Boudreau after Game 5.
Alexander Ovechkin, who scored a highlight reel goal in the second period that may have chased Lundqvist for the third period, spoke with me after Game 5 and talked about this recent success against King Henrik -- and whether the Rangers goalie is really as good as he's looked at times in the playoffs.
Q. Did you pick the keys to Lundqvist's goal? You scored against him two games in a row.
OVECHKIN: Not really, it's just whenever we shoot pucks at him he sees each one of them and stops them easily.
Then maybe you should put someone in front of the net to screen him, just like Holmstrom in Detroit.
[Holmstrom] is there all the time [in front of the net]. But we scored most of our goals tonight five on five. Semin had such a beauty!
When Lundqvist let in the second one, even your coach said he started to get worried about Game 6. Bruce Boudreau said after the game that he knew a goalie like him would bounce back. What does Washington have to do to keep Lundqvist from repeating the heroics in goal?
I think there has been enough heroics for him [in this series]. In my opinion, he has already jumped higher than his head.
Does that mean that you think Lundqvist is playing above his level? That he is not the goaltender people paint him to be?
He is a good goalie. But let's not make him out to be Tretiak.