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Lundqvist: “I thought it would never end”

May 3, 2012, 1:05 AM EDT

lundqvistgetty Getty Images

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.

And his reaction was honest:

“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.)

  1. highpowered350 - May 3, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    The King of Kings

  2. noisetheorem - May 3, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    I watched the start of this game and then switched over to the press/yotes game. I was astounded to go back to ths game after that one finished. You could just see the fatigue on both sides, and thrill, heartbreak and relief when it was over.

    Playoff hockey is the best!

  3. izlez - May 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    “Sleepy hockey fans nod their heads”

    awww poor people in NY and Washington had to stay up 10 minutes past midnight once all playoffs? Try talking to fans of several western conference teams who have to do this several times a series. And if their games go to triple overtime, their games go until 3 AM

    • dirtydave6986 - May 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      I’m sorry, I must’ve missed when the Pacific Time Zone was 3 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. We apologize for making such comments.

      • wd333 - May 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        I think izlez actually meant that people who live in the Eastern Time zone but are fans of western conference teams have to stay up late to watch those games…

  4. izlez - May 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Yes, fans of Western conference teams who live in the Eastern time zone.

    And for a few fan bases, that is their home team that plays in the Western conference and is in the Eastern time zone

  5. brian32556 - May 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    What a difference from the ’71 game: then, a HS freshman laying in my bed in the Bronx listening to my transistor radio into the dark hours of the night. To add to the misery, the game didn’t start until 8:30 because the circus was in town! Tonight, in my lounge chair, the wide screen plasma, a cold beer watching the Broadway Blueshirts!

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