LOS ANGELES -- Henrik Lundqvist had very strong feelings about the play that changed the momentum. They were so strong that he just could not express them right away.
The Rangers goalie, who is known for being even-tempered and clearly analytical no matter what the situation is, sat for a few minutes with his head down. With a baseball cap on his head and his goalie pads still on his legs, he held his chin in both hands and stared at the floor after the Rangers' second consecutive overtime defeat.
Teammates quietly assessed the 5-4 double-overtime loss to the Kings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final Saturday night, but Lundqvist, usually the first to give his thoughts to the media, had to take a while. Eventually, he did say what was on his mind, and what was on his mind was the Kings' third goal, which cut the Rangers' lead to 4-3.
At the time, 1:58 in the third period, he made his case to the referee. After the game that put his team behind 2-0 in the series, he made his case again. He was unhappy that Dwight King had made contact with him as he was scoring the goal. Lundqvist said he was told on the ice that the puck already had gone past him when the contact occurred, which was why there was no call for goalie interference. There is no provision for video review on such plays. "I don't buy it," he said. "It's such an important play in the game and I don't buy the explanation."
Explaining that he was hindered from playing the puck just before the incident, he said, "That's a wrist shot that I've just got to reach out for. That's a different game after that."
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault clearly was just as unhappy about the fact that the goal was allowed to stand. When he was asked directly during his postgame news conference if that should have been goalie interference, he said, "Ask the NHL."
Ryan McDonagh, the Ranger closest to the play, said he got no explanation. "If he goes to the inside, he's got to be running into the goalie," the defenseman said, referring to King. "That's the way I was thinking about it. The ref obviously didn't think he was interfering. I couldn't really tell from where I was on the ice."
Said King, "I was just trying to get positioning, I think it was me and McDonagh that were pushing each other. It hit us, but after it hit us we went down. So that's just the way it went."
What bothered Lundqvist was his memory of teammate Benoit Pouliot being called for goalie interference in the second period. "There were two different calls on the same situation in the same game," he said. When he was asked what he would tell the NHL competition committee, he added, "Just be consistent."
Said Lundqvist, "That's hockey. One play can change everything. You have to move on.''
"We all battled. I battled, played five periods, obviously. The difference is not very big. Just one bounce here and there, it's a different score there."