GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist says he plays better when he's upset.
Well, he can recall only a few times in his career when he was as angry after a game as he was following the Rangers' 3-2 win in Game 6 on Monday night. Lundqvist was beside himself that the officials allowed Chris Neil's goal to stand with 32 seconds left in the game despite the fact that he felt he was interfered with and Neil kicked the puck into the net.
"I was really mad," Lundqvist said Wednesday after practice.
So how does he bring that anger into Game 7 Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS)?
It'll have to happen naturally, but if the Senators continue to crash his crease Lundqvist's blood should start to boil.
"I think it's been a similar style hockey each game, a lot of bodies in front, a little more intense, but that's part of the playoffs," said Lundqvist, who on Wednesday was announced as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. "I expect it to be crowded and a little more physical. I don't mind it. I like when two teams are fighting and competing. I kind of feed from that a little bit. Sometimes I play better when I'm a little upset."
Lundqvist, though, will not go into Game 7 angry. He will instead be focused on anything and everything that is in his power to control.
He's played in enough big games (Game 7 against Washington in 2009, the gold-medal game in the 2006 Olympics, the 2012 Winter Classic) to understand how best to approach this one.
"Mentally you try to block everything you can't control. You focus on the things you can control," he said. "Every time you're in a game where your season is on the line, the mental aspect, it's a bigger challenge. But if you can just control your emotion and focus on the right things, it doesn't have to change. I'm going to approach this game the same way I approached the last game and the game before that."
Lundqvist added that never having won a Game 7 in his career is not at all a factor now. He said he's living in the moment because he wants to win to keep playing.
"You want to go out there and play, enjoy it. It is a great moment," Lundqvist said. "You worked hard all year to be here. I think you have to see it as a great challenge, then you feel more positive about it, don't put too much pressure on it, and just enjoy it."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl