MONTREAL -- The Swedish Billy Smith, not quite, but Henrik Lundqvist threw some haymakers with his blocker hand at Max Pacioretty that would have made the Islanders' dynastic Battlin' Billy proud after jumping on the Montreal winger following a late second-period collision in the crease in which the goaltender had been knocked down.
"I felt like he didn't try to stop. That's why I went after him," Lundqvist said after the Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Canadiens last night. "There was a lot of energy out there. It's something that happened.
"If I get knocked into but I feel the player tries to stop then that's not going to happen," he said. "But I can't stay calm all the time, and in this building it's hard to stay calm."
Lundqvist was given a two-minute minor for roughing. Pacioretty, who crashed into Lundqvist full boar, was given two minutes for goaltender interference plus another two minutes for closing his hand on the puck.
"I loved it," coach John Tortorella said of Lundqvist's response. "I thought it was terrific. I loved his emotion."
The Rangers have allowed 29 goals in their last six visits here, often surrendering scores in bunches as they did last night in yielding three within 2:44 late in the first period.
The Blueshirts had allowed three goals in their previous three games, winning in St. Louis 2-1 last Saturday, losing to the Canadiens at the Garden on Tuesday 2-1, then blanking the Canucks 1-0 at home on Thursday.
"I don't know if all their home games against everybody else are like the ones we play, but our games here are wild," Lundqvist said. "They get so much energy from their fans. It seems like they're right on top of you, and there are always crazy bounces and momentum changes that makes it hard to stay calm.
"The key is to stay within yourself, but what happens a lot instead is that you try to do too much, and that goes for me too," he said. "You just have to keep it simple and stay calm, but it's not easy."
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/lundqvist_defends_crease_to_the_RWHe6yxi67flQJcfbW2wEM#ixzz1BF1JAYeC
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