BOSTON — As it turned out, it was a satisfying 35th birthday for Henrik Lundqvist.
The King shone at TD Garden on Thursday night, making 33 saves, and Pavel Buchnevich and Oscar Lindberg scored in a 4:25 span in the third period as the Rangers snapped a two-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Bruins.
“I didn’t think it was going to be enough [to win] until really the last second,” said Lundqvist, who tied Grant Fuhr (403) for 10th place on the NHL’s win list. “They had some pretty open looks in the first, but we found a way not to get hurt and we got our legs going and our minds going.”
The game was scoreless in the third, with the Bruins having the better of the play, when Buchnevich beat Tuukka Rask with a 35-foot slap shot at 5:10. Lindberg provided an insurance goal at 9:35 with an inside-out move around Brandon Carlo for his fifth goal.
Alain Vigneault didn’t like much about the offense, which had only 21 shots and went 0-for-3 on the power play, but he praised Lindberg and Buchnevich, who played 15:13 while stepping in for Michael Grabner (hip).
Buchnevich, the rookie left wing whose hadn’t scored an NHL goal since Jan. 19 in Toronto, didn’t dress for the last four games. General manager Jeff Gorton said “Pavel needs to play” on Tuesday and sent him down. Buchnevich, 21, scored twice for AHL Hartford on Wednesday night, including the winner in overtime.
“We were told he was Hartford’s best player [Wednesday],” Vigneault said. “That was a great shot on his goal. I had him out towards the end, he made a few board plays, so I’m happy with how he bounced back.”
Lindberg, more and more comfortable as the fourth-line center after offseason hip surgery, scored his third goal in the last six games. “It was a highly skilled play,” Vigneault said.
Lindberg said his confidence level is improving. “I think it’s pretty good,” he said. “The last couple games we’ve been playing better hockey, and I think the confidence comes with that.”
It also was a solid debut for defenseman Brendan Smith, who played 20:51 with former Wisconsin teammate Ryan McDonagh after being acquired from Detroit before the trade deadline.
Smith praised Lundqvist. “Everything that we’ve been trying to do to score [with the Red Wings], and you never score on him, so I got to watch from the opposite side and it was amazing to be part of,” he said. “I love how vocal he is when guys are around you. He plays the puck well.’’
In the first period, Vigneault said, “We had a hard time making a 10-foot pass. We had to regroup. In the third, we had a couple of early chances that we buried, then we grinded it out.”
The Rangers, who lead the league with 86 goals in third periods, saw the Bruins’ Brad Mar chand cut the lead in half with 7:04 left. Then David Backes rammed into Lundqvist’s shoulder in the crease and was sent off for goaltender interference with 2:22 left, and the Rangers held on.
Backes was not pleased. “I don’t agree with it,” he said. “I think I’m going to the net, trying to avoid contact. He comes up to initiate it and I look at the ref’s arm in the air. Obviously, we get the luxury of slow-motion replay, but at that point of the game, it’s just frustrating.”
Rask said of Lundqvist: “He was making great saves, played a great game. We created a lot of chances and just couldn’t get one by him until the end there. So give credit where credit is due.”
Lundqvist had been telling people that he didn’t want anything for his birthday, but he changed his tune Thursday night.
“All I wanted today was to win,’’ he said. “I wanted to come here and play my best.”