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Stellar Lundqvist shuts down Stamkos, Lightning

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The New York Rangers lit up the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in a 7-3 win that evened the best-of-7 series 3-3 and set up Game 7 on Friday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The biggest play of the game, however, was a goal that wasn't scored.

The Rangers led 2-1 after two periods and then erupted for four goals in the third. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 28 of his 36 saves in the first two periods to put the Rangers in position to break the game open in the third. His biggest save came in the first when he robbed Lightning captain Steven Stamkos at 14:14.

The Lightning were buzzing on their power play when Callahan carried the puck into the left circle. He wound up for a shot but it was deflected by Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein. The puck rolled to Stamkos at the top of the crease and he shot it at what appeared to be an open net. But Lundqvist came across the crease to stop Stamkos' shot with his left pad.

Defenseman Keith Yandle scored 76 seconds later to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

"That was a desperation move," Lundqvist said. "I had to commit to Callahan because he came in. I was late coming across. That one felt good to make that save. First period is always important, especially in a game like this, where you try to build something and get good confidence. It felt good to get a good start."

Lundqvist is 9-1 in elimination games since the beginning of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs and 15-3 in his past 18 since Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators. He has a 1.47 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and two shutouts in that stretch.

"My game is so much about focus," Lundqvist said. "I'm not the fastest guy. I'm not the biggest guy. It comes down to how I read the play and if my focus is good I'm in a better position, reading situations better, and that helps my game. Guys rely on speed and size but I rely so much on my head because I'm 6-1 and I'm one of the smaller guys and I play deep. A lot of times I'm reading situations. When the focus is good that helps my game."

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