Sore shoulder won't keep Henrik Lundqvist out of crucial Game 3
The wing is Henrik Lundqvist's catching arm, specifically his left shoulder, which he injured while covering the puck after a save on Daniel Paille at 15:08 of the third period in Sunday's 5-2 Game 2 loss in Boston. It remained sore after Monday's practice.
"I landed on the ice awkwardly and hurt it a little bit," said Lundqvist, who received treatment and apparently never thought about skipping practice. "Everybody's sore. It's the playoffs. You can't sit out [if] it's hurting a little bit. It happens, and you just have to make sure you do the right things to keep it good. It's under control.''
With the Rangers down 2-0 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, this shapes up as a pivotal game, and Rangers coach John Tortorella believes his club can regain control.
"Some of the mistakes we made [in Game 2], it was surprising and a lot of it was off the rush, but I think that can be fixed because I think that's one of the strengths of our game,'' Tortorella said. "That's why I'm very encouraged. I think we're going to be OK here . . . We made some mistakes that we very rarely do. We beat ourselves. I'm not disrespecting Boston, but we hurt ourselves with our play without the puck.''
Four of the Bruins' five goals were scored through screens, off blocks or on deflections.
"It's disappointing to give up five goals, but positioning-wise and reading the plays, for the most part it was good,'' said Lundqvist, who shut out the Capitals in Games 6 and 7 in the first round. "They [Bruins] made some good plays, too. And then there were some unlucky bounces and screens. I could probably find excuses for the goals, but it's not going to help my game. I just have to try to be better and work even harder to see pucks.''
Cashing in on the long-lamented and often-critiqued power play -- which is 0-for-8 against the aggressive Bruins and 2-for-36 in the playoffs -- and getting another goal or two from Rick Nash, who tied Game 2 at 2-2 with his first goal of this postseason, couldn't hurt, either.
"He's going to play a lot,'' said Tortorella, who, with the last change at home, will maneuver to keep Nash away from 6-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara. "He scores a goal and that's going to help.''
The Rangers, who came back to win four of five games after losing the first two in Washington in the first round, also could benefit from some puck luck, or divine intervention. No NHL team has overcome 2-0 deficits to win consecutive best-of-seven series in one postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And the Rangers are 11-12 all-time in Game 3 when trailing 2-0 in a series.
"All we have to do is focus on one game, win, and it's a series again," Mats Zuccarello said. "A couple shots hit the knob [of goalie Tuukka Rask's stick], couple shots hit his pads, stick, post. Not a bounce going our way. As long as we create chances, we have confidence we can turn this around."
A loss Tuesday night would make a revival extremely improbable, though. "It's do-or-die again,'' said center Derick Brassard, whose point streak ended at six games Sunday. "If it's 3-0, it's a tall order to come back."