On Wednesday night, while New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was busy earning his 30th win of the season for the eighth time in his legendary career, a rookie Swedish goalie was also making some big saves in a key conference matchup for his team.
Eddie Lack stopped 29 shots in a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild, which placed his Vancouver Canucks just four points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference. The win also pushed Lack to 4-1-0 in his past five games with only 11 goals against on 138 shots, a .920 save percentage.
With eight games remaining in the regular season, Lack is currently 15-14-4 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. His four shutouts are eighth overall in the NHL, while his GAA is 11th overall.Things did not go well for Lack leading up to and directly following Roberto Luongo's surprising trade to the Florida Panthers. In fact, prior to this recent five-game surge, Lack was just 2-5-0 in March with 22 goals against on 181 shots, a meager .878 save percentage. But now, with all of the chaos and controversy behind him, Lack's play could become the driving force behind a late-season push for one of two wild-card spots.
But does he have what it takes to get the job done in such a pressure-filled market?