CALGARY, Alberta - Henrik Lundqvist is getting in a groove, and he doesn't want to let anything change.
"I want to play. I want to get going here," an animated Lundqvist said after earning his fifth shutout of the season and winning his third consecutive start Sunday in the Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, the NHL's last-place team.
On Tuesday night against the Flames (17-13-2), a game that will conclude this three-stop Western Canada swing, Lundqvist will play his fourth straight game, which is fine with him.
"It feels like the last couple weeks I haven't played much," said Lundqvist, who allowed only one goal in winning back-to-back games in Vancouver and Edmonton. "I was happy when AV [Alain Vigneault] told me I was going again [Sunday]; I'm used to getting into a flow . . . When you don't play as much, you have to work a little harder to get into the right place."
The right place for the Rangers would be six points from a three-game sweep and a season-high four-game winning streak, but to accomplish that, they'll have to douse the Flames, who have lost five straight.
In the last seven full NHL seasons, Lundqvist (12-7-3, 2.51 GAA, .911 save percentage) has never appeared in fewer than 62 games and has played at least 70 four times. Tonight will be his 23rd start and third game in four nights.
Lundqvist was named the NHL's third star of the week Monday after going 3-0 with a 1.30 GAA, but he reached a more significant milestone. He ranks 20th in all-time shutouts, passing Ed Giacomin and Bernie Parent with 55.
After struggling early for the second consecutive season, Lundqvist is closer to settling in. In fact, he appears more concerned about mumps, the virus that has sidelined at least 14 players on five teams and prompted clubs to offer booster vaccines.
Tanner Glass missed four games after Thanksgiving and Derick Brassard was sent back to New York from Edmonton on Sunday.
No other Rangers players or staff displayed symptoms as of yesterday afternoon, a team spokesman said.
"It's not fun. We're trying really hard not to let it spread," Lundqvist said. "You hope that you're not going to get it. I thought we were in the clear, it's been a couple weeks, but I guess not."
Notes & quotes:The Rangers haven't won at the Saddledome since a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 20, 2011 . . . With Cam Talbot's two shutouts, the Rangers have seven in their first 28 games. The last time that happened was in the 1937-38 season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.