It might have come as a surprise with how much Henrik Lundqvist has played this early into the season. But according to the Rangers franchise backbone in net, this was all premeditated over the summer.

“I feel like the more I play, the more relaxed I get,” Lundqvist said after getting both games of a back-to-back sweep, making 33 saves en route to a 3-2 overtime win over the Bruins on Saturday. “It’s something we really talked about over the summer. Playing back-to-backs and playing more games just to help me to be in the right mindset.

“Physically, it’s more challenging. But mentally, it’s easier, I find. The biggest part to the game is the mental aspect.”

Coach Alain Vigneault explained his decision to play Lundqvist by saying this was a “big game,” just as he did when Lundqvist got both games of last weekend’s back-to-back, in Washington on Friday then home to the Devils on Saturday. Lundqvist has now started 28 of the team’s first 33 games.

But after Lundqvist made 33 saves in a 4-2 win over the Kings on Friday, he said he was “tired” and was asked if he wanted to play again on Saturday. His response?

“I said, ‘I want to go,’” Lundqvist said. “It’s a fun challenge to have in front of you.”