For Lundqvist, a career-defining win

Updated: May 3, 2012, 11:33 AM ET
By Craig Custance

WASHINGTON -- Within seconds of taking off his skate following the New York Rangers' 2-1 triple-overtime win Wednesday over the Washington Capitals, a cramp shot pain through the leg of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. He let out a quick yell, grabbed his foot and stretched. Backup Marty Biron jokingly yelled to get his teammate a banana.

In Lundqvist's dressing room stall were the remnants of attempts to stay hydrated and energized through the 114:41 of ice time the goalie logged in this marathon. Two cans of Red Bull sat to his right, one opened and the other perhaps being saved for a fourth overtime. There was a shake in a plastic Rangers cup and empty bottles of water and sports drink.

When Marian Gaborik finally ended it, Lundqvist didn't yell in celebration as he said he usually does.

"I was just too tired," he said. "I just kept saying, 'Oh my God, it's over.' It felt like it was never going to end."

This Game 3 win was a pivotal win for so many Rangers. Gaborik got a much-needed goal. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh showed just how valuable he is to this team by skating for 53:21, more than any other forward or defenseman.

But it meant the most for Lundqvist.