The Canadiens still managed to be in a 0-0 tie with the Rangers after escaping a first period where New York was clearly the better team. And had it not been for Henrik Lundqvist’s huge glove save, Montreal would have scored in the second period to take a lead.
You could say Game 6 between Montreal and New York is an important game.
Actually, you should say that.
In fact, as Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote, this was the most important hockey game in New York in 20 years. In 1994, the Rangers won the Cup.
Speaking of huge, Henrik Lundqvist has been New York’s MVP this playoff run, despite his burp in Game 5. In Game 6, the Rangers outplayed the Canadiens for the first period, but the Habs fought back in Period 2. After such a strong start from the Rangers, Montreal was still only one lucky bounce away from scoring the first goal of the game, on the road.
And they almost got that bounce when Thomas Vanek came in on a break and tried to pass the puck across the front of the net. It instead deflected off defenseman Dan Girardi’s stick and towards the net. Lundqvist, who had already started to move across the crease, made a miraculous save with his blocker that will rival Tokarski’s glove save earlier in the series.
Less than two minutes after the save, the Rangers scored and were the ones with a 1-0 lead. This is why Lundqvist, the difference-maker, is New York’s MVP:
One of the best saves of this round came off a pass from Thomas Vanek.
Vanek, meanwhile, had only six shots on goal in the first five games. Thank goodness for Rene Bourque.