STOCKHOLM – Henrik Lundqvist made a jaw-dropping save on a second period shot by Bobby Ryan. The Anaheim Ducks left-winger got his revenge in the shootout.
Ryan scored the only goal in the shootout, lifting the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the teams’ matchup in Europe on Saturday.
Shooting fourth, Ryan who glided toward the net and poked an ugly shot to the lower right side of the net.
“It wasn’t the way it was drawn up, but I’ll take it. I’m gonna label it a fortunate miss,” Ryan said. “I had one (scoring chance) in the second period that I’d really liked to have back, so I think Henrik and I will trade even today.”
The Rangers appeared headed for a loss late in the third period, but Brad Richards scored with 2:15 left in regulation, his first goal for New York since joining the team from Dallas.
Richards’ goal came after the Ducks had trouble clearing the puck. Ryan McDonagh took control and passed to Richards. He skated up to Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller and put the puck over his shoulder, making it 1-1.
It was Richards’ second point in his first two games with the Rangers, and showed precisely why the team lured him from Dallas with a US$60 million, nine-year contract—one of the league’s biggest free agent deal this summer.
Lundqvist, a hockey star in Sweden, kept the Rangers close and rewarded the sellout crowd with an outstanding game in the net. He stopped 27 shots. The most memorable save came in the second period when Ryan, standing alone to the side of Lundqvist, took a pass from Corey Perry. The crowd applauded wildly and began chanting “Henke! Henke!”—Lundqvist’s Swedish name.
Both teams will head back to North America with two points in two games. The Ducks lost 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres in Helsinki on Friday, while the Rangers fell to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Ducks centre Andrew Cogliano scored for the Ducks midway through the first period thanks to the forechecking of rookie Devante Smith-Pelly, who got an assist on the play.
The game was marked by sloppy play typical of early season action. There were 19 penalties—two against the Ducks for having too many men on the ice.
“It wasn’t a smooth game at all,” Rangers’ coach John Tortorella said. “But we stayed with it. At times, as ugly as we were, we still found a way to battle and get a big goal at the end.”
The Rangers managed only 15 shots on goal, and only three in the third period, but the performance by Hiller was impressive after he allowed four goals by Buffalo the night before.
“It was a weird game. I didn’t have a whole lot of shots … but I thought we played it pretty well. It was definitely a lot of improvement compared to yesterday,” said Hiller, who stopped shootout attempts by the Rangers’ Erik Christensen, Richards, Mats Zuccarello, and Artem Anisimov.
Hiller missed 27 games during the second half of last season because of vertigo-like symptons.
The assist by Smith-Pelly marked the first point in the NHL by the 19-year-old, who was drafted by the Ducks in 2010.
“It’s a good thing to get the first point out of the way. Now I can just kind of relax and hopefully get that first goal,” he said.
“I thought yesterday I was a little bit nervous for most of the game. It probably showed in my game. But today I was much more calm, getting a little more confidence with the puck,” Smith-Pelly said.
The Ducks next play at home on Friday against the San Jose Sharks. The Rangers will play the Islanders on Long Island on Oct. 15.