In a crucial matchup against division-rival Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist lost his cool and the Rangers went on to lose the game.
The moment came in the second period with the score still tied 0-0. The Penguins had a 2-on-2 breakaway. Lundqvist slid out to the side and caused an errant pass. But while doing so, he ended up right in the path of teammate Ryan McDonagh, leading to a nasty collision.
Lundqvist was livid, screaming at the referees, believing they should have stopped the action because of the collision and the lost stick.
Meanwhile, his stick was still on the ice in the corner and play was still going on. So when the Penguins controlled the puck and started moving back up ice, Lundqvist turned around and intentionally shoved his net off of its pegs.
That is a two-minute delay-of-game penalty.
Of course, a two-minute penalty beats trying to stop a shot without a stick, which is exactly what he would have had to do. Look at where the shot goes.
The Pens didn’t score on the subsequent power play, but did go on to score three times in the period and win 4-1.
It was a crucial loss for the Rangers. With only 19 games to go in the regular season, they are hanging on tightly to one of the coveted top three spots in the Metropolitan Division.
Only the top three teams in each division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. With Thursday’s loss, the distance between the second-place Rangers and the fourth-place Penguins is now just six points.
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