Mar 26, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT
Making a statement game late in the season can be tough, but the Rangers behind Henrik Lundqvist made it all happen. Lundqvist stopped 26 shots and earned his 11th shutout of the season much in part to the Rangers adapting styles. As the game broke down into crunch time in the third period, the Rangers used a defensive methodology that would’ve made the 2004 version of John Tortorella that proclaimed “safe is death” blush.
For Lundqvist, his 11 shutouts are the most in Rangers history since 1928-1929 when John Ross had 13. We’re thinking that Ross may not have had quite as much talent to face during a season as Lundqvist has. Lundqvist has single-handedly been carrying the Rangers over their last ten games going 8-1-1 with a 1.67 goals against average, a .942 save percentage and three shutouts over the span. Expect Lundqvist for Vezina talk to really pick up now with the Rangers improving their shot at the playoffs daily.
The Rangers virtually abandoned their offense and say on a 1-0 lead while the Bruins peppered away with shots, most of which didn’t get through to the net, while the Rangers bend-don’t-break style prevailed to get them the win. New York improved to 27-0-0 in games that they led after two periods.
Derek Stepan earned the game’s lone goal just 6:39 into the first period when Derek Stepan scored his 20th of the season tipping in a shot from the point by Michael Sauer past Bruins starter Tuukka Rask (22 saves). The win temporarily evens the Rangers up in points with Montreal with 87, just two behind Tampa Bay in fifth. Montreal holds the tiebreaker on New York with more wins in regulation and overtime.
Boston was unable to inch closer to securing a playoff bid by losing. Had the Bruins won and Carolina lost, Boston could’ve locked up a playoff spot and joined Philadelphia and Washington as teams able to lock up a spot in the postseason already. Instead, the Bruins will look to regroup before facing Philadelphia tomorrow night.
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