The Rangers went through a businesslike morning skate ahead of Game 3 tonight at Verizon Center, and afterward goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said the team remains confident despite its miscue-riddled effort in Monday’s 3-2 defeat.
“We feel good,” Lundqvist said after the light 25-minute session. “We feel confident. We know what we have to do.”
One of the items on the Rangers’ to-do list is likely cleaning up some of the mistakes that cost them 48 hours ago. Defenseman Stu Bickel committed an ugly turnover that led to Mike Knuble’s goal. Lundqvist’s fumbling of the puck behind his own net led to Jason Chimera’s tally. And Brad Richards was seated in the penalty box for holding when Brian Boyle got beat by Nicklas Backstrom on a key defensive zone faceoff and Alex Ovechkin fired the game winner past Lundqvist’s glove.
It’s a game of mistakes. But that’s a few too many this time of year. Lundqvist, though, said the Rangers must focus on what they did well.
“We did a lot of good things the other night,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of those things, we have to continue doing and we’re going to have some success.”
That could be tough in this building for the visitors, if their recent postseason history on F Street means anything. Since winning two straight games here in 2009, they’ve dropped their last five. They’ve scored a combined three goals in the losses, while Lundqvist has yielded a total of 13 goals, getting pulled in one of them.
“It’s a tough building,” he said. “They are a good team, especially at home [where] they play well.”
A few more notes from Verizon Center:
*Forward Brandon Dubinsky traveled with the Rangers but did not skate. He’s expected to miss his third consecutive game with a lower body injury.
*Asked about the Capitals potentially reuniting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the top line tonight, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said he doesn’t expect it to change New York’s approach.
“For us, it’s not really going to make a difference,” he said. “Whoever the coaches throw out onto the ice, we just have to make sure we do the job against their top guys. We don’t prepare any different.”
*There were four big air ducts pumping air though a dehumidifier this morning at Verizon Center. The hoses are visible above the Zamboni entrance.
With temperatures expected to reach the low 80s and humidity above 50-percent, a dehumidifier could help the ice-maintenance crew produce a harder, crisper sheet of ice.
*Lundqvist was named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay award by the NHLPA today. The Lindsay award is the league’s most outstanding player as voted by his peers. Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos are the other finalists.
*You know who else is sick of hearing about Ovechkin’s reduced ice time in Game 2? Lundqvist.
“No,” he said, asked if he noticed that Ovechkin was not playing as often as usual. “I don’t really care, either, honestly. …If he plays 20 minutes or 5 or 10 or 30, I don’t really care.”