OTTAWA - Henrik Lundqvist stopped nearly everything he saw Thursday night in Game 1 against the Senators.
But it was a shot by Erik Karlsson from the corner that deflected off Lundqvist and into the net at 15:48 of the third period that topped the Rangers, 2-1, in the opening-game of this best-of-seven series.
"I think there's three guys in line with the puck and I pick it up, it just hit me in the head and it's in," said Lundqvist, who made 41 saves in the loss. "I assumed that having that many guys right in the line with the puck it's going to wind up right in front of me, but it didn't. It's a tough one."
Lundqvist was sensational throughout the contest, especially in the first period when he made 21 saves, including two highlight reel stops on Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone.
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm1: Lundqvist lays out to rob Stone
He said he was pleased with his game overall, but that he was disappointed that despite his strong performance, the story after the game was the game-winner.
"I played my game and did the right thing and it comes down to one play where you don't see the puck and you kind of wait for it instead of trying to be a little bit more active," he said. "That's the one play you get questions for. Just how it goes.
"There's a lot of things to be happy about," he added. "The way I felt, the way we played as a team - we had a lot of chances. Right now, in a game like this, you don't have room for a lot of errors."
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm1: McDonagh nets PPG from the point
Ryan McDonagh's power play goal 7:10 into the second period opened the scoring. McDonagh's wrist shot from the point beat Craig Anderson, who was screened by Chris Kreider in front to put the Blueshirts up a goal.
Ottawa tied the game on a power play goal of their own. Ryan Dzingel buried a rebound Lundqvist knocked down to the side of the net with 1:21 left in the second.
Luck was not on New York's side, as the Blueshirts hit three posts, including two in the third period by Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller, both coming with the game still tied.
And of course luck was not on their side on Karlsson's goal, beginning with McDonagh, who lost track of the puck during a battle with Karlsson in the corner.
"I felt it hit my skates," McDonagh said. "Usually it doesn't sit right in the same spot so I was looking to see where it deflected. Unfortunately, it stayed right there. He knew where it went and made a great play."
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm1: Lundqvist shuts down Karlsson's bid
With the way both goaltenders played, McDonagh said it was apropos that the game was decided on a goal like Karlsson's.
"I think it's going to take a goal you don't see very often to decide it like that," McDonagh said. "Obviously we wish it didn't happen, but at the same time, I thought we played a hard-fought game with them and we know it's going to be some fun hockey as we continue."