ien had a two-run hom

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Henrik Lundqvist wasnt happy going into Game 6 against Montreal. Given the hook midway through the previous game of the Eastern Conference final, the US$100-million-plus Rangers goalie had been doing a lot of soul-searching. "You have so many highs. You have a few lows where youre questioning a lot of things, but then you just have to make up your mind," Lundqvist said after Thursdays 1-0 series-clinching win over Montreal. "You cant have any excuses. You just have to go out there. "I kept telling myself all day, believe in what youre doing. Ive been in that spot before. It gets silly, you get pulled. You have a tough game, but you just have to stay confident." The mental review concluded, Lundqvist returned to world-class form. In dispatching the Canadiens to win the series four games to two, Lundqvist only had to deal with 18 shots. There were stretches of inactivity for the stylish Swede but he had to be razor sharp on a couple of occasions. Lundqvist, in 20 playoff games this season, leads the NHL with a .928 save percentage and ranks second with a 2.03 goals-against average. New York will need more of the same in the Stanley Cup final. "He was totally focused," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of his goalie. "He was probably a little upset tonight coming into the game. I dont know if it was because of the opportunity or if he was upset with the way it ended in Montreal in Game 5. "But he was definitely focused, and those are not easy games to play. I mean, there is not a lot of work, but youve got to stay sharp. He stayed really sharp." The biggest save came in the second period off Thomas Vanek. It was an amazing circus-like save with his arm and then blocker as Lundqvist, who lost his stick in the process, corkscrewed his body to stop the close-range shot that deflected off a diving defenceman. Asked what he thought of the play, Vigneault replied: "Same thing you did. Wow." The Rangers scored soon after to book a ticket to their first Cup final in 20 years. When the final whistle blew, the normally ice-cool Lundqvist threw his arms up in the air and pumped them in celebration, before being mobbed by his teammates as New York celebrated its 11th trip to the final. The Rangers will open the championship series next Wednesday in either Chicago or Los Angeles. "Its going to be a great challenge," said Lundqvist before knowing the identity of his opponent. "Were going to play against a really good team. Its about, for us, in the room to remind each other that this is such a special moment that you have to grab it. You have to make sure youre ready and play your absolute best. "Youre not going to get that many opportunities. Ive been here for nine years. This is my first final, and now its all about preparing the right way and try to leave it all out there." In front of Lundqvist, the Rangers can roll four lines. Vigneault started the fourth line of Dominic Moore, Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett against the Habs in Game 6 and they responded with the lone goal on the night. The goal came through nose-to-the-grindstone resolve as the Rangers outworked a tired Montreal quintet to keep the puck in the Habs end. Left alone behind the goal, Boyle sent a perfect pass through defenceman Francis Bouillon and Moore snapped a shot past Dustin Tokarski on the stick side. The Rangers rely on goaltending and penalty killing to limit the opposition offence. Its a recipe that worked well against Montreal, other than Game 5 when Lundqvist was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots. New York also has speed in the form of Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and others. There are Cup winners in Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. And first-class defencemen in Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. There is character galore. Moore and St. Louis have had to endure personal tragedies in recent time, but found refuge at the rink, according to Vigneault. The team is well-drilled and does the little things well, although there was a tendency to take poor penalties against Montreal. Behind the bench, Vigneault is a calming presence. In a year that saw the Rangers wobble out of the starting gate, forced to play on the road for most of October due to Madison Square Garden renovations, Vigneault kept the train on the tracks while changing the team culture. Lundqvist also endured a rocky start, going 8-11 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in his first 20 games. "We did change a lot of things going into the season. I think it was a time where we had to find ourselves a little bit as a group," the goalie said. "But personally, I think it was my toughest start in my career, my 12, 13 years as a pro, if I combine the Sweden years. "So its definitely a tough test. But it feels better when you turn it around and good things start to happen. Its been a great ride so far, especially the second half of the season. Its been a lot of fun to be around the guys, thats for sure." Lundqvist, in the final year of a six-year, US$41.25 million deal, signed a seven-year contract extension worth US$59.5 million that will make him the NHLs highest-paid goalie. The win that moved the Rangers into the final came a year to the day that New York fired fiery coach John Tortorella, who is worlds apart from Vigneault. "I personally just like how calm he is," Lundqvist said of Vigneault. "Obviously, he changed a lot the way we play, so it was a big change early on in training camp and the first couple months for us to adjust and for me to adjust. It was a little different game. But he was very patient and calm and understood the process for us to get there. Its going to take a while to get there. "But obviously having Tortorella for almost five years and having that coaching style and then A.V. comes in, theyre opposites. As a player, you learn from both, and I enjoy both. But its refreshing when you see a new coaching style that you havent had before and the way he handles pressure situations. ... Hes pretty consistent with the way he talks to us good or bad." Vigneault is the picture of calm, although he is no automaton. "Yeah, he gets worked up. Hes a human being, and hes a coach," said Richards. "Coaches have to do things sometimes to get things going. But his worked up is different than other peoples worked up. Different from my worked up and your worked up, everybody has different ways of showing it. "I think youve just got to be around it and be behind closed doors, and youll know when he wants a little more of a practice or a little more preparation or whatever hes doing. He still sets the tone when you see him that day, if things need to be changed or need to be worked on." Nike Shox Uk Outlet . -- Catriona Matthew remained atop the Airbus LPGA Classic leaderboard Friday, birdieing four of the last seven holes to take a one-stroke advantage over Charley Hull into the weekend. Cheap Nike Shox Nz Womens Uk . The 10-year deal the league and players agreed to that ended the 2011 lockout gave either side the right to opt out after six years. With the league projecting financial growth, there has been speculation that players will take that option in three years, especially since a new national TV contract will be in place by then. http://www.cheapshoxsaleuk.com/cheap-nike-shox-nz-eu.html. Bjoergen pulled away from Swedens Charlotte Kalla on the final straight to win in 38 minutes, 33.6 seconds and defend her title from the 2010 Vancouver Games. Kalla was 1.8 seconds back. Heidi Weng of Norway took bronze. Cheap Nike Shox Monster UK . - The Seattle Seahawks have signed nine players to 2014 future contracts, including quarterback B. Cheap Nike Shox Nz UK . Eller scored the midway through the third period after Dallas scored twice to tie it, leading Canadiens to a 6-4 win over the Stars on Thursday night.CHICAGO - Paul Konerko waved his cap to one more adoring crowd. The reserved slugger popped out for a curtain call when the standing ovation just kept going. He lingered on the field after the game, exchanging high-fives with the fans who lined the field to grab one more moment with the retiring star.At the very end of his 18-year career, Konerko finally realized what he meant to the Chicago White Sox.I dont think I wouldve understood this a year ago - theres a lot of people out there Ive impacted over the years here, he said after Sundays 6-4 loss to Kansas City in his final game.I see people crying out there. Thats crazy that just because I played a game, I never thought about that stuff. I get, sometimes its not always about whats comfortable to me, I have to make that happen and go for closure for them as well. Its something they dont teach you in the minor leagues, about this kind of stuff.Coming into the final day of the regular season, Kansas City was hoping for a one-game playoff on Monday in Detroit for the AL Central title. But the Tigers clinched the division with a 3-0 victory over the Twins, sending the Royals to the wild-card game on Tuesday night against Oakland in their first playoff appearance since 1985.When a lot of teams are going home, the elite few get to stay back and play in this tournament, and for the first time in a long time, weve earned the right to play in it, manager Ned Yost said.Kansas City (89-73) will send James Shields to the mound against Oakland left-hander Jon Lester when it hosts the first game of the 2014 playoffs. The Royals went 5-2 against the Athletics this year, but both of their losses came against Lester.Its going to be a fun experience, first baseman Eric Hosmer said.Konerko started at first and played five innings on the final day of his 16-year run with the White Sox. The slugger, who paid tribute to his wife and three children by writing their names in the infield dirt behind the bag, went 0 for 3 with two striikeouts.ddddddddddddKonerko went out to first before Kansas City batted in the sixth inning, and then was replaced by Andy Wilkins. He waved his hat toward the visiting dugout, where the Royals were standing and applauding along the top step, and then waved to the standing crowd of 32,266, once again hearing chants of Paulie! Paulie!The 38-year-old Konerko disappeared into the dugout for a brief moment and then came out for a curtain call. He waved to the crowd again and acknowledged the sustained cheers with a bow before retreating back into the dugout, where he received more hugs and congratulations from his teammates.A six-time All-Star, Konerko finished with a .279 average, 439 homers and 1,412 RBIs.This whole thing blew me away, said Konerko, who also was honoured by the White Sox before Saturday nights game. I know Ive been here a while and I knew thered be something at the end that would be commemorating me being here for a while. But this whole thing, the fans and all that last night, I never thought that I was one of those guys that gets that.Chicago had a 4-2 lead when Konerko departed, but Kansas City responded with three runs in the sixth. Christian Colon, who was activated from the disabled list before the game, hit a tying two-run double off Daniel Webb (6-5) and Carlos Peguero added a tiebreaking RBI single.Casey Coleman (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for his first win since Sept. 9, 2011, for the Chicago Cubs against Milwaukee. Louis Coleman got three outs for his first save.Marcus Semien had a two-run homer and a bases-loaded walk for the White Sox (73-89), who dropped five of their final six games.NICE ROUND NUMBERWhite Sox CF Adam Eaton went 3 for 3 before he was replaced in the field before the fifth inning, leaving him with a .300 batting average.TRAINERS ROOMWhite Sox: White Sox: SS Alexei Ramirez (sore hamstring) and 1B Jose Abreu (sprained thumb) did not play.___Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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