Lundqvist Looking Better With Two Straight Wins

1/1/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   109 respect

Dec 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) passes the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsFor may be the first time since joining the NHL in the 2005-06 season, things have not been easy for New York Rangers' franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Going into Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lundqvist's numbers were bloated, his play between the pipes was inconsistent and more importantly, he had not been the same goaltender that he was in every season prior to this one.

Fast forward to tonight and it appears that Lundqvist's game might just be on the mend. Not only did Lundqvist help his team get a 4-3 win over the Lightning on Sunday night, but the "King" came up big once again tonight in his team's 2-1 shootout win over the Florida Panthers. 

In the two games, Lundqvist allowed just four goals on 62 shots, picked-up two straight victories and came out of both games looking more like himself. If you put all of these things together, you have the make-up of everything that Lundqvist has been his entire career for the Blueshirts.

There are several reasons why Lundqvist might be coming out of his funk. For starters, he is making the big save when his team needs it the most.

These last two games were both one goal games and in the third period, overtime or shootout when Lundqvist needed to be at his best, he was just that. When the Lightning controlled the play in the third period on Sunday night, Lundqvist made several timely saves to preserve the victory.

Lundqvist did the same thing tonight in his team's win over the Panthers. The one shot he stopped in overtime was a difficult one that came with one second to go in the period and then in the shootout, Lundqvist went out and stopped all three shots he faced.

Secondly, Lundqvist looks confident between the pipes. He is playing more on top of the crease and giving shooters less of the net, is getting in position to stop second and third shots and more importantly, is not allowing the soft goals that have seemed to plague him this season.

Lastly, Lundqvist has been the major reason why the Rangers have won the last two games. When Lundqvist is a factor in the game for his hockey club, it usually results in good things and when it comes to the last two games, he has been the team's biggest factor in winning both tilts.

Lundqvist may not be all the way back just yet but at least he is getting close and helping his team win hockey games when they need it the most.
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