Injured Lundqvist loses cool, Raanta gets big challenge


We’ve all been there before. When you’re having a bad day, you lose your cool. For the normally unflappable Henrik Lundqvist, that ugly moment came during Thursday night’s frustrating 4-1 loss at the Pens.

A day after celebrating his 34th birthday, Lundqvist had a rough second period. It started with a Pens’ rush that resulted in Ranger teammate Ryan McDonagh knocking over Lundqvist. The game was still scoreless. But he was hurting. With play still going on, he intentionally knocked the net off to get a whistle which resulted in a delay of game minor penalty. As seen in the video above, he was trying to get the refs’ attention. But lost it.

At the time, the Rangers didn’t know how hurt their star goalie was. Lundqvist stayed in the remainder of the period allowing three consecutive goals in 99 seconds. Following Chris Kreider’s third goal in the last four, the Pens responded on goals from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist to close the second up 3-1.

That was it for Lundqvist, who didn’t return from the locker room for the third. He allowed three goals on 22 shots. Following the game, he wasn’t available to the media. A tell tale sign that the injury was serious. Right now, the Rangers are calling it “neck spasms.” Alain Vigneault didn’t think he’d be out too long. But who knows.

The organization made an emergency recall from Hartford bringing up Magnus Hellberg. He’ll backup tonight’s starter Antti Raanta, who has the daunting task of facing the first overall Caps at Verizon Center. Coincidentally, he also got the start in the last meeting also in D.C. with the Rangers falling 5-2 on a Justin Williams’ hat trick. They fell apart in that one taking bad penalties.

Raanta has played better lately winning his last two starts against the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets. He allowed three goals on 64 shots. However, facing the high powered Caps is a big challenge. The league leaders enter tonight’s contest with a league best 47-12-4 record and 98 points with 19 games remaining. They’re 18 up on the Rangers, who also must concern themselves with the Islanders. The Isles are three behind for second with two games at hand. The teams face off at MSG Sunday.

Right now, the Blueshirts will focus on Washington. After beating them in the first match-up 5-2 on Nov. 3, they’ve lost the last three meetings by scores of 7-3 (12/20), 4-3 in overtime (1/9) and 5-2 (1/17). How will they respond to a difficult second game in a back-to-back against a rested opponent that played Wednesday?

McDonagh wasn’t happy with their response in the third last night. They struggled to generate offense only getting five shots on Marc-Andre Fleury. The Pens shut them down forcing Vigneault to shuffle the deck. Normally, they respond better. What will they have left for Ovechkin tonight?

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About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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3 Responses to Injured Lundqvist loses cool, Raanta gets big challenge

  1. hasan4978 says:

    Should have asked before but I kept forgetting, how do you post video on this new version of the site? Every time I try it by the video link it doesn’t work there and embedding the link only seems to post the address. The John Moore OT goal last night deserves at least a Video of the Day lol

    Like

    • Derek Felix says:

      Okay. So, don’t do it via the new posting. If you go through WP Admin at the left side, you can still do a New Post that includes being able to link up videos.

      Like

    • Derek Felix says:

      What you want to do is go in and click Site Administration. It will take you to the Admin WP page. Instead of clicking the + button at the top right. Go to the middle left where it says Posts. A tab will come up for All Posts followed by Add New. Click on Add New and it will open up for a New Post that will include every option including for linking media/videos.

      FYI I switched you from Author to Admin. Just in case you couldn’t get in to the WP page. You should be good.

      Derek

      Like

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