Over Henrik Lundqvist’s career he’s been to the playoffs a lot – with 128 playoffs games over his 11-year career – and there’s no other opponent he’s battled more than the Washington Capitals.
Over the last 11 years, the Rangers and Capitals have faced off in the playoffs 33 times dating back to 2009, and there have some memorable moments between the two teams. Shayna recently talked about one of those memorable moments, with Lundqvist’s back-to-back shutouts in 2013 against the Capitals, but I want to go back a year and talk about quite possibly the most bizarre game the two teams have played in their recent playoff history.
The 2011-12 Eastern Conference Semifinals pitted a Rangers team led by John Tortorella against a Capitals team that was in the spirals of an identity crisis; after the Run-and-Gun Bruce Boudreau days didn’t work, they turned to Dale Hunter’s grinding and grunting brand of hockey. I always like to think that the Rangers and Hank played a small part in the collective nervous breakdown that Washington went through.
While that 2012 series may not have been the most entertaining brand of hockey – to be quite honest it was positively painful to watch at times – it did give us a rather unique and memorable moment in the rivalry between the two teams and in Lundqvist’s career.
114 minutes of hockey, 7 total penalties, 94 total shots, and...
This was such a monumental slog of a hockey game, but it was also one of Hank’s best playoff performances – 44 saves on 45 shots over those 114 minutes of hockey earned him a nice 0.978 sav%. This performance also included a nifty pair of saves in overtime on Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson that even got the Verizon Center game ops guy a bit excited.
Another great moment from this game is the ice time. This game can also be referred to as the “Stu Bickel Game,” as over the course of the 3-overtime game, the Rangers defender played only 3 minutes and 24 seconds, while stalwarts Dan Girardi and Marc Staal played almost or over 45 minutes each.
While this may not be the first game fans think of when they think of Henrik Lundqvist’s career, to me this game will always stand out as being one the...odder moments of the future Hall of Famer’s career.