May 3, 2012, 1:05 AM EDT
As the third period of Game 3 between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals was winding down, I made this off-hand joke: maybe Wednesday’s first contest would end before the later-starting Nashville Predators-Phoenix Coyotes game. I had no idea how right I’d be as the Rangers needed most of a third OT period to finally win 2-1 via a Marian Gaborik goal.
Multiple overtime hockey is brutal on the nerves for fans and onlookers, but it must be outright savage for players. Goalies must then be the most nervy of the bunch (although they at least tend to see their efforts fall off the least as time goes on). Any bounce can make you the loser, but after seven consecutive playoff OT losses, Henrik Lundqvist finally won.
“Oh my God, I thought it would never end,” Lundqvist said. “This is a special feeling.”
How special? The Rangers haven’t won (or appeared in) a triple overtime game since they beat the Chicago Blackhawks in 1971.
Stephen Whyno captured John Tortorella’s succinct thoughts on Lundqvist:
“He leads us,” Tortorella said.
After seven OT playoff losses, he finally pushed them to victory. (Marian Gaborik helped, too, though.)
- Pressing Question: Can the Blackhawks avoid the Stanley Cup hangover? 3
- Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall 35
- Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers 25
- Pressing question: Can the Blues get back on track? 16
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension 90
- Sabres, Panthers have best odds for 2014 NHL draft lottery 16
- Leafs ‘lack an identity,’ says Leiweke 30
- On the hot seat: McPhee will ‘talk in a couple of days’ 21
- Bruins are 7/2 favorites to win the Stanley Cup; Blues next at 6/1 49
- End of an era: Trotz out as Nashville head coach 40
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (90)
- Lightning’s Malone arrested for DUI, cocaine possession (73)
- Update: Daniel Sedin in stable condition, hospitalized after scary hit (58)
- Halak’s agent ‘bewildered’ by Oates’ remarks prior to Blues game (51)
- Here’s the schedule for the first round of the 2014 playoffs (51)