- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist allowed two quick goals in the shootout before buckling down.
He stopped the third shot. Then the fourth. Then the fifth. And so on all the way up until the 10th shot by the Lightning.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, Lundqvist only had eight consecutive saves in store, allowing the game-winning score in the shootout in the 11th round to Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone.
Afterward, Lundqvist was disappointed he couldn’t give his team another chance to win the game in the shootout.
“You play a big part as a goalie and when you lose you take it pretty personal and you want to be better and stop more shots," Lundqvist said. "But they had some good shooters."
The 11 rounds in the shootout is tied for the sixth longest in the NHL history and third longest n Rangers history. Lundqvist has been the goalie for the Rangers in each of those three contests. For his career, he is 31-22 in the shootouts.
The Rangers shot first each round and Lundqvist said he watched his team at the other end. He allowed goals to Victor Hedman and Adam Hall before his stretch of eight straight stops.
While the Rangers scored on their first and third shots, they then proceeded to miss eight straight as well, putting the onus on Lundqvist to keep them in the game.
While he certainly deserved a better fate on this night, a great shot off the top crossbar that dropped down behind the line ended the Rangers chance of grabbing two points.
“The difference between winning and losing in the shootout is very small,” Lundqvist said. “I try to stay focused and I was hoping for a third goal from us. We had some great moves in the first three round. I knew after I let in the first two, it would be tough.”