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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lundqvist's blue streak only sign of tension in Rangers' dressing room


The New York Rangers are a desperate hockey team. Maybe.

John Tortorella's Blueshirts lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime on Saturday night, a glancing blow to their playoff hopes as they trail the Philadelphia Flyers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

After the game, however, the Rangers and their coach were fairly calm about the result — minus a brief yet oddly subdued outburst from goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

"I played pretty good," he said. "Unfortunately, I let in a f---ing terrible goal and they tied the game late. I'm really f---ing pissed right now."

The goal he referred to belonged to Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle, and it tied the game with just more than three minutes left, setting the stage for Nikolai Kulemin's game-winner.

Kaberle's goal came on a freak shot from behind the Rangers goal line that wound up in the net.

"I timed it badly," Lundqvist said. "Tried to kick it to the side. Kicked it too early, and it hit my skate and went in. For all the chances they had, they score on a shot like that — it's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. At least we got a point. But it's really frustrating."

Ah, yes, the extra point. Last week, when the Montreal Canadiens lost to Toronto in a shootout, they too were happy to take home the single point. Coupled with Philadelphia's loss to Pittsburgh earlier in the day, the Rangers are now four points back of the Flyers (80 to 76) with seven games remaining. (Of course, Atlanta is sandwiched between the two at 78 points, but their schedule is a nightmare.)

"I think you just have to look at the positives," captain Chris Drury said. "We got five out of six [points] on the week. Certainly six out of six would be better, but you can't change it now. Just have to get ready for the Islanders."

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