BOSTON -- Henrik Lundqvist could have given himself a pass or pointed a finger at any one of the 18 New York Rangers skaters who play in front of him and blamed them for not stopping the Boston Bruins' surge in overtime Thursday night.
Goalie - NYR
GAA: 1.76 | SVP: 0.945
It wasn't Lundqvist's fault he faced 16 shots. It wasn't his fault Derek Dorsett's interference penalty gave the Bruins momentum they would never give back.
But Lundqvist chose to do neither. He instead chose to pin the blame on himself for what he referred to as a "bad decision" on the 2-on-1 rush that led to Brad Marchand's overtime winner 15:40 into the extra period that gave the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden.
"I mean, it's a tough play but I could play it better," said Lundqvist, who finished the night with 45 saves.
"I gotta see the guy in the middle," Lundqvist answered, referring to Marchand, who gave the puck to Patrice Bergeron and cut into the middle, where he gained position on Mats Zuccarello to receive the centering feed in the slot for the redirection goal.
"I was too focused on the puck and I kind of knew he was coming in the middle, but I was too locked in on the puck," he continued. "That's why I made a stretch move instead of coming with my pads together. It's a technical thing and it happened fast, but sooner or later when you face a lot of chances like that you're going to make a mistake.
"It's not a mistake I'm gonna [be] sleepless over. I thought I played a pretty solid game but we just came up short here in overtime again."
Stress "again," because Lundqvist and the Rangers can't seem to find their way in overtime during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are 0-3 this postseason and 3-11 with Lundqvist in net since 2007.
Lundqvist isn't sure if the repeated failures in OT are having a cumulative effect on his confidence when the game goes beyond regulation.
"I've got to be really careful to ask myself the right question there because have I played bad in overtime? No," Lundqvist said. "Can I score? No. Is it frustrating? Yes. My record is terrible in overtime but I just gotta stick with it, play my game and hopefully it will turn around."
He didn't really have much of a chance to turn it around Thursday. The Bruins started to push as soon as overtime began, and they took over once they got a power play 2:20 into the extra session.
Lundqvist faced six shots during that power play and stopped them all.
"We spent the whole two minutes in their end and had some great chances, but Lundqvist made some big saves at the right time," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Overall, Lundqvist was perfect against the first 15 shots he faced in overtime before Bergeron and Marchand broke in on the 2-on-1 -- an odd-man rush created by Zdeno Chara's poke check of Derick Brassard's pass in the defensive zone and Marchand's speed to get inside position on Zuccarello in the offensive zone.
"It was a tough overtime because they came hard," Lundqvist said. "I thought their power play really gave them energy every time they got on the ice. They really build from every power play."
And the Rangers? Well, not so much.
They were 0-for-3 with three shots on goal on the power play. They are 2-for-31 in the playoffs.
"I thought we played a pretty good game, we did, but special teams were the difference," Lundqvist said. "They won it 1-0, and that's going to be the case this playoffs. We talked about it in the first round; we've gotta get it done and we didn't."