New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 40 shots to help the Rangers stay alive in the Stanley Cup finals with a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.
With a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NHL championship series, the Kings were looking to complete a four-game sweep on the Rangers’ home ice at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
But Lundqvist and the Rangers were determined not to be the first club since 1998 to be swept out of the Stanley Cup finals.
“Whatever happens, we’re winning this game,” Sweden’s Lundqvist said of the mindset among the Rangers going into the contest, and it was largely thanks to him that New York made good on the vow.
Martin St. Louis gave New York a 2-0 lead early in the second period and the goal proved decisive for the Rangers, who improved to 11-2 in their last 13 elimination games and 5-0 when facing elimination in this post-season.
Benoit Pouliot put the Rangers ahead with a first-period goal, and New York hung on despite getting only one shot off in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Lundqvist stopped 15 shots in the third period to preserve the Rangers’ lead.
Dustin Brown scored and Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for the Kings, who still own a commanding three-games-to-one lead and can wrap up their second title in three seasons when they host game five on Friday.