BOSTON---Maybe if his name was “Lin-qvist”, he’d get more notice in New York.
Henrik Lundqvist, with a career-high 42 saves and his league-leading seventh shutout, was perfect last night in a 3-0 blanking of the Bruins in a game where the Rangers were outshot 42-20.
For his effort, Lundqvist was handed the Broadway Hat to wear post-game, but somehow that wasn’t enough for coach John Tortorella. “Henrik should have six hats on tonight,” he said. “It was a game we needed him. Jeez, he was absolutely fantastic.”
The victory lifted the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers, who were sloppy and tired after playing four games in six nights, to a nine-point lead over the Bruins, who have lost four of their last six games.“It means we’re doing a lot of good things right now,” said Lundqvist. “To be No. 1 end of the year is not our goal, our goal is to keep playing until June, so we have to keep improving our game.”
It is difficult to imagine how much Lundqvist can improve.
Consider this: In his last eight games, Lundqvist (7-1-0) has not given up more than two goals and is 18-5-2 (with six shutouts) against Boston in his career. When the Bruins pressed in the third period, holding the Rangers to three shots, Lundqvist stopped all 18, capping the bravura performance by stopping David Krejci on a power-play breakaway with 32 seconds left.
“I like the type of games when both teams are battling a lot in front of the net,” said Lundqvist. “I kind of feed from the players, working that hard and being physical, paying the price in front of me. Also knowing that Boston is a team that’s not going to give up much, so I personally have to be sharp. I pretty much know I can’t give up more than two goals.”
So the Rangers roll on. With a record of 37-13-5 (79 pts) have won eight of ten and are 20-5-1 in their last 26.
. Ryan Callahan scored his sixth goal in four games and tied his career high in goals with 23 on a power play at 10:09 of the first. Scoring with the man-advantage has been instrumental. The Rangers are 18-1-2 in games where they have a power play goal.
Then Ryan McDonagh threw a shot from the left point on net that banked in off Zdeno Chara with 11.8 seconds left for his second goal in two games.After a scoreless second period, with the sides skating four on four, Artem Anisimov scored his 10th of the season at 2:53 of the third on a rush down the right side. He used a little pump fake and fired the puck into the far corner past Tim Thomas.
“I think they won more battles than we did tonight, especially in their own end,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “They’re playing well. They grind you down and they don’t give you much and whenever you give them an opportunity, they pounce. That’s the kind of identity we’re looking for again.”