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As usual, Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist on top of his game in Game 7 situation

The New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist makes a

The New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist makes a save during the first period Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The gaudy numbers, especially in Game 7 situations, are just another reminder of what Henrik Lundqvist does for the Rangers.

As Wednesday night's Game 7 wore on, there were plenty more reminders. Lundqvist may have been beaten by Alex Ovechkin's wicked wrist shot in the opening period, but the Rangers were able to pull even thanks to Lundqvist's big saves -- most of which came in a first period that looked at times like the final two periods of Game 6, with the Caps swarming the Rangers deep in the zone to create havoc and scoring chances.

Lundqvist finished regulation with 27 saves; five of those were on Ovechkin, including one off a faceoff with 33 seconds left in the third period. None of No. 8's shots through 60 minutes were as dangerous as the one he wired past Lundqvist 12:50 into the game.

Lundqvist entered Game 7 having allowed only four goals in his previous five Game 7s, dating to the opening round of the 2012 postseason. Never more than one goal allowed in any of those five games, all victories, three of them in the Garden.

The crazier streak was one that was broken Wednesday night: Lundqvist's Rangers had not trailed for even a second of any of those five Games 7 before Ovechkin snapped one by him. The last time the Rangers trailed in a Game 7 was back in 2009, when Sergei Fedorov scored with 4:59 to play in a 2-1 Capitals' win in Washington.

Lundqvist was not fazed, standing tall through the rest of the first period Wednesday night and through a light workload over the first 10 minutes of the second, as the Rangers tilted the ice with three straight power plays and tied the game. His best stop came on Andre Burakovsky from 10 feet with five minutes left in the second. Burakovsky had all kinds of time, but tried to sneak a shot under Lundqvist's arm.

Lundqvist's best save of the game was one of his first, a left pad stop on Jay Beagle just over four minutes into the game. Lundqvist steered a deflected shot into the slot, where it pinballed onto Beagle's stick with room. But Beagle could not beat Lundqvist on the game's first quality scoring chance, showing The King was already into it.

Lundqvist made his 104th career playoff appearance, good for 16th on the NHL's all-time list for goaltenders. Of the 17 goalies who have played at least 100 postseason games, only two have never won a Stanley Cup: Curtis Joseph, who sits sixth at 133 games, and Lundqvist.

Game 7 was another chance to get closer to his goal of ending that drought, or moving up an unpleasant list: greatest goaltenders never to win a Cup. Overtime would decide it Wednesday night.


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