Last night was a heartbreaking loss for a New York Rangers team on a roll. Henrik Lundqvist seemed to be facing his Montreal demons and not faring well. The team was all over the place and looked undisciplined and out of place frequently. Derek Stepan was the team’s best player, scoring two goals after missing a game for jaw surgery. The game was flukey at best and the garbage being thrown on the ice at the end of the game made Bell Centre feel more like it was a different arena all together.
Q. How do you explain what happened, particularly in the second, just the structure, I guess?
COACH VIGNEAULT: Well, it was, to say the least, a strange game. You know, we tie it up 1-1 in the first and couple minutes later they make it 2-1. They make it 4-1. We tie it up 4-4. Couple minutes, next scoring chance, they put it in the back of our net to make it 5-4. It was a different game than what we’ve had so far in this series, and we’re going back home.
Q. Obviously the hit by John, laid Dale out. Any expectations of what the league might do there?
COACH VIGNEAULT: The league will do what it has to do. I think he was penalized on the ice. John is definitely not the type of player to try to hurt someone, but it was a late hit and it was the right call on the ice.
Q. Did pulling Lundqvist have as much to do with how the team was playing as how he was playing? And did you consider bringing him back out for the save?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I pulled him because I thought at that time we needed a little momentum shift, and I thought it might catch everybody’s attention. It did for a while. Obviously it didn’t work out.
Q. Just a follow-up on that, did you consider going back to Lundqvist?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No, no.
Q. Talk a little bit about Step’s game. Obviously, coming back, getting two goals, if there was a positive, I guess?
COACH VIGNEAULT: If there was a positive, the fact that he was able to, under those conditions, play such a strong game. That whole line was good tonight, and we need to get the rest of our group to play the same way.
Q. Lundqvist is healthy? He’s not injured?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No.