BOSTON — Bring on the Pittsburgh Penguins!
Pretty gutsy saying that, eh? Two best players, Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, in the world on one line? Isn’t that like asking for the LeBron James and the Miami Heat?
Yes. Yes. And yes.
There’s one problem. Those weren’t words uttered by the T.D. Garden faithful and they didn’t boldly come from the Boston Bruins locker room after last night’s 3-1 win over the New York Rangers, sending the Bruins to the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins.
They came from the Rangers locker room. They came from the locker stall of the world’s best goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, with some slight paraphrasing, of course.
“The Penguins have so much skill. They are very good,” said Lundqvist, who sat at his stall in full equipment for about five minutes with his hands over the lid of his Rangers cap, hiding his eyes, before speaking to the media after the game.
“But so are the Bruins,” the goalie said. “I can’t explain how impressed I am with them. They don’t stop coming at you; it’s bodies; it’s shots; it’s pressure. Wow, it’s going to be an interesting matchup of two different styles.”
If there was period in the game, which fit Lundqvist’s description of the Bruins tenacity last night and this series, it was with about four mintues to go in the game.
The Bruins had the puck in the Rangers end for about 90 seconds. They were not only killing time -- leading 2-1 at the time -- but Dennis Seidenberg, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara all took target practice on Lundqvist during that stretch.
“Look, I love the challenge. It’s fun out there,” said Lundqvist. “It just seemed like they were in control of this series the entire way. When they wanted it, they got it.”