Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien knows of at least one big reason his team is trailing the New York Rangers 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Therrien was more than willing to shower Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with praise after the New York netminder turned in a brilliant performance Monday night. Lundqvist stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced in the Rangers’ 3-1 win, sending the series back to New York with the Blueshirts holding a two-game lead.
“You know what? The reason why we lost the game tonight was Lundqvist,” Therrien told reporters after Game 2. “Lundqvist was phenomenal. Phenomenal. Stole the game.”
However, Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban — whose game-high nine shots on goal all were stopped by Lundqvist — believes luck is playing a role in the goalie’s dominance through two games.
“Sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in,” Subban said, according to the Toronto Star. “In the past, we’ve done those same things and the puck’s gone in. So I mean, is he playing well? Yeah, but we’re doing a good job. Some of it is luck, as well. He’s getting a little bit lucky, but that’s what you need in the playoffs.”
Lundqvist has posted a .953 save percentage through two games in the series, so he must be getting really lucky. Lundqvist bookended his Monday night performance with a sparkling showing in the early minutes of the first period and then again in the third, when he made 19 saves.
Subban’s assessment of Lundqvist is kind of funny given that it comes one round after Montreal goalie Carey Price stood on his head but also was helped by the fact the Bruins hit more than 10 posts in their second-round series.
See Lundqvist’s Game 2 performance below and judge for yourself.