Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
This is why he's a finalist for the Hart Trophy and the Vezina Trophy, and why he's a top contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy at the moment. When the Rangers only score two goals, you have to feel confident he's only going to allow one.
A few choices, so take your pick.
As I mentioned during the pregame skate on Saturday, even though the Rangers controlled possession during the series the Capitals ended up getting more scoring chances, which forced Lundqvist come up huge. And this is kind of what played out during the second period as the Capitals had spurts where they were buzzing around net but couldn't finish. That was entirely due to Lundqvist who was all over the crease and almost single handedly preserved the Rangers lead during the frame.
Brad Richards scored the big goal less than two minutes in (as shown above) to open the scoring, and then Michael Del Zotto scored the game-winner midway through the third. That was quickly followed by a Capitals goal, which was followed by a delay of game penalty on the Rangers, a sequence that appeared to be the game slipping away from New York.
But Washington's power play was a complete disaster, nearly allowing a shorthanded goal, never getting set up for a quality chance, and then taking a penalty of their own to negate the final 20 seconds of advantage.
Everything we should have expected. Another tight, close, one-goal game, which is the only type of game these two teams know how to play.
The Rangers now move on to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since the 1996-97 season and will take on their long-time rivals, the New Jersey Devils.
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