Henrik Lundqvist gives up six goals again Wednesday night, including this one in overtime.
ST. PETERSBURG — Alain Vigneault thought he was being joked with Thursday when he was asked if Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed six goals in each of the last two games, would start Friday’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final, which the Rangers trail the Lightning 2-1. He seemed incredulous that Lundqvist’s status as the starter would even be in question, but he quickly put any doubts to rest by backing the franchise goaltender.
“Hank’s the guy,” Vigneault said at the team’s hotel.
Lundqvist gave up six goals in Game 2 on Monday and Game 3 Wednesday night, the first time he’s allowed at least six goals in consecutive games since Oct. 12 and Oct. 14 against the Maple Leafs and Islanders respectively, but he had never done so in the playoffs.
Backup Cam Talbot played admirably during the regular season when Lundqvist missed 25 games after spraining a blood vessel in his neck when his neck snapped back while taking a puck to the throat on Jan. 31. Talbot went 16-4-3 in his 23 starts during that stretch but he hasn’t played since April 7 and has never started in the playoffs.
Was sitting Lundqvist something Vigneault considered?
“No,” Vigneault said.
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