Henrik Lundqvist elevates his game against Penguins

Henrik Lundqvist makes a second-period save against the

Henrik Lundqvist makes a second-period save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, May 11, 2014. (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Henrik Lundqvist, who surrendered a total of only two goals in Games 5 and 6, thinks his club is learning how to beat the Penguins.

"As a team, we really have come together here and realized what we have to do to have success against this team," he said. "They are so skilled that if you give them something, they are just going to take it . . . In the past two games, our mindset has been really good."

Lundqvist was outstanding in both games, moving to 9-2 with a 1.35 GAA, a .955 save percentage and two shutouts in the last 11 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination.

 

Penalty kill excels

Although the Rangers' power play had been in a woeful slump -- 0-for-36 before the two goals in Game 5 and 0-for-6 in Game 6 -- the penalty kill has put the "special" back in special teams.

The Flyers scored six goals with the man-advantage in the first round, but the Rangers have killed 18 of 19 power plays by the Penguins (4-for-4 in Game 6). The Penguins had the league's best power play during the regular season, scoring at a 23.4 percent pace. The Rangers were No. 3 on the kill at 85.3 percent.

"Penalty-killing starts with great goaltending," coach Alain Vigneault said. "Hank's made the right saves at the right time. We've got a lot of guys that are willing to put their body on the line and block the shots that need to be blocked."

After 22 blocked shots, the Rangers lead the NHL in that category in the playoffs with 229.

 

Blue notes

The Rangers have never come back from 3-1 to win in 16 opportunities and forced a Game 7 only once previously, against Boston in the 1939 Stanley Cup Final, when they were 0-3 and lost Game 7 in the third overtime . . . With the game-winner, Carl Hagelin is tied with Derick Brassard for the team lead with four goals.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NHL videos

Vote

Where do the Rangers need to improve most in 2014-15?

Offense Defense Power play Coaching Something else

advertisement | advertise on newsday