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Henrik Lundqvist's key is to not change approach when Rangers struggle scoring

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist against the Washington Capitals

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist against the Washington Capitals during the first period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 4, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON - Henrik Lundqvist was angry after the Rangers lost Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the Capitals with 1.3 seconds left, flinging a water bottle in disgust in the dressing room afterward.

Wednesday night, he looked more stunned than mad after another 2-1 loss, this time one that left the Rangers trailing the series three games to one.

The goaltender sat at his locker, leg pads still in place, staring forward, stone-faced, while teammates answered reporters' questions. When it was time to speak, he did his best to maintain a positive outlook -- or at least a hopeful one.

Was he shocked? "There's no shock," he said. "It's disappointment. I think we did so many good things."

Scoring enough goals was not among them.

The night was the continuation of what has been a memorable goalie duel between Lundqvist, who has been very good, and Braden Holtby, who has been even better.

Entering Wednesday night, Holtby (1.54) and Lundqvist (1.59) ranked 1-2 in playoff goals-against average among teams still in the tournament and first and third in save percentage, with Holtby at .949 and Lundqvist at .940.

The Rangers finally got to Holtby after being shut out in Game 3, but the Capitals answered with two goals by Andre Burakovsky, a 20-year-old rookie who grew up in Sweden near the hometown of Lundqvist.

Lundqvist lamented that it was "two mistakes" that cost the Rangers, as both goals were set up when Rangers lost the puck, first Chris Kreider and then Ryan McDonagh.

"When you go through a stretch when it's tough to score, your room for error is so small that it might be the difference," he said.

Lundqvist played through a shot from Brooks Laich that hit him in the collarbone and caused him briefly to double over in pain.

He finished with 28 saves. Holtby made 28 as well, including the first save of a penalty shot by a Capitals goalie in the playoffs since Al Jensen did it against the Islanders in 1983.

"It's disappointing and frustrating," Lundqvist said

"In games all year we found a way to get that second goal to kind of kill games and separate ourselves. "But so far we've had a really tough time getting that second goal."

On the practice day before Game 4, Lundqvist said he would focus on not changing anything about his approach to account for the Rangers' scoring woes, saying this:

"I think that's the key for me, not to change. You can't do more, especially for a goalie."

"You don't want to change your game if we score more or not. I think it goes for the entire team. You can't want to try to do too much."

After another anemic night for the offense, Lundqvist figures to be tempted to try to do even more in Game 5. At this point, nothing short of a shutout might do.

New York Sports