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Throughout the season, there was little doubt as to who the Rangers best player was: goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
"The King" has continued his outstanding play during the postseason, and there is no way the Blueshirts would be in the Conference final without the play of their 30-year-old Swedish goalie.
In Game 1 against the Devils, Lundqvist made just 21 saves to earn the shutout, but it was the quality and timeliness of those saves that was more important to the Rangers than the total.
New Jersey dominated most of the second period and had several quality scoring chances in the first 40 minutes of the game, but Lundqvist kept them off the board. The most dramatic sequence was a series of three quick saves off of Devils' winger Zach Parise from point blank range that required quick reflexes by Lundqvist.
He was equal to the task.
For a low-scoring team like the Rangers, scoring first is critical. Lundqvist's strong play kept his club in the game until they could take control of the tempo in the third period.