No one was harder on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist after the 3-2 overtime loss to the Bruins Thursday night than Lundqvist himself.
The veteran netminder said he made a mistake in the way he played Patrice Bergeron’s feed from the right side to Brad Marchand in front at 15:40 of the extra session.
The miscue resulted in the deciding tally and resulted in the Bruins taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“There was a two-on-one I guess and I made a bad decision,’’ said Lundqvist, who wound up with 45 saves. “I mean, it’s a tough play, but I could play it better. I’ve got to see [Marchand] in the middle. I was too focused on the puck. I kind of knew [Marchand] was coming in the middle, but I just was too locked in on the puck and that’s why I made a stretch move instead of coming with my pads together. It’s a technical thing and it happened fast. Sooner or later, when you face a lot of chances like that, you’re going to make a mistake. It’s not a mistake I’m going to sleep less over. I thought we played a solid game but we just came up short in overtime again.’’
For Lundqvist, it was the third overtime loss of this postseason. He lost Games 1 and 5 to the Capitals in the extra session.
“I’ve got to be really careful to ask myself the right question there because have I played bad in overtime?’’ he said. “No. Can I score? No. Is it frustrating? Yes. My record is terrible in overtime but I’ve just got to stick with it, play my game and hopefully, it will turn around.’’
Lundqvist and the Rangers were coming off back-to-back shutouts against the Capitals. In Game 7, Lundqvist made 35 saves in the 5-0 victory, passing Dave Kerr for second on the Rangers’ all-time playoff shutouts list (eight).
Lundqvist saw his shutout streak end at 152 minutes, 23 seconds when Zdeno Chara beat him at 12:23 of the second period, which gave Boston a 1-0 lead.
With about 30 seconds remaining in the first period, defenseman Michael Del Zotto was struck in the left ear by a Patrice Bergeron shot. He went to the room with a trainer but returned to start the second . . . There are two former Boston College standouts on the Rangers — center Brian Boyle from Hingham, who led the Eagles to the NCAA championship game against Michigan State in 2007, where they fell short, and left wing Chris Kreider, who earned NCAA championships with the Eagles in 2010 and 2012. He left The Heights after his junior year to turn pro . . . If the regular season is any indicator, the series promises to be close. The Rangers and Bruins have been separated by one goal in 19 of their last 24 regular-season meetings, including eight games that required more than regulation and six that went to the shootout, dating to March, 24, 2007. Four of the other five contests during that span were decided by two goals and one was decided by three (a 3-0 win on Feb. 14, 2012 at Boston). New York is 12-5-2 in one-goal games during that period . . . In the Washington series, Derek Stepan notched the winning goal in Games 3 and 4, becoming the first Ranger since Adam Graves (May 8 and 11, 1997) to score the winner in back-to-back playoff games . . . Rangers center Derick Brassard extended his point streak to six games with an assist Thursday night. After being held scoreless in Games 1 and 2 against the Capitals, Brassard erupted for two goals and seven assists in the final five contests, with the Rangers winning four of them. He has two goals and eight assists in the last six contests.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at email@example.com.