The King Has A Devil Of A Time In NJ

Henrik Lundqvist stops a scramble in front. (Credit: Getty Images)

Henrik Lundqvist stops a scramble in front. (Credit: Getty Images)

Coming off of two huge wins over Ottawa (8-4) and Columbus (3-1), the New York Rangers got themselves right back where they want to be in terms of playoff position. The Rangers needed to win last night because at this moment in the season every point counts, and you can’t afford to botch games this late because teams behind you and ahead of you will always find ways to win.

That’s exactly what the Philadelphia Flyers are doing right now. The team that the Rangers need to catch in order to take second place in the division, if nothing else goes wrong however. But the Flyers are playing tremendous hockey right now, there’s no other way around it. Remember all those goals they were giving up early in the season? That just isn’t happening anymore. The Flyers better cool off or the Rangers might find themselves a little bit further down in the standings come playoff time.

Enough about the Flyers though, last night was all about Henrik Lundqvist. Throughout the game, he didn’t have to do much, the defensive effort was there, positioning was good for the most part, Raphael Diaz also looked very good in his Rangers debut due to John Moore being out. There were a ton of positives to take from last night’s contest. It was one of those “feel-good” wins that when you look at the score you can do nothing but smile. But, when Lundqvist was called on to make that big save to keep his team in it, he pulled through and made that save.

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That’s what earned him his passage into the history books, for the second time. Shortly after getting win #302 to pass legend Mike Richter on the Rangers all-time wins list, he notched his 50th career shutout last night to pass Ed Giacomin on that all-time list as well. Lundqvist seems to be doing it all at the moment, and the Rangers are going to need him if they want to have a shot at making a deep playoff run this year.

A Rick Nash shot from a tight-angle which went top-shelf on Martin Brodeur is all the Rangers would need essentially. From there on the Rangers locked down and played solid hockey to pick up the two points. Ranger fans thought they would see Martin St. Louis’ first goal as a Ranger, the empty net was waiting for him! But right as he took the shot a Devils defense-man came in and blocked it. Looks like we will have to wait a little bit longer.

The Rangers celebrated in joy as they sent the Devils fans home disappointed, while the away fans in attendance would have something to cheer about.

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow starts a new week for the boys in blue, as they come home to MSG to play the Phoenix Coyotes (7pm start), then on Wednesday they have a huge match-up with the Flyers (8pm start) at home, which will be featured on the NBC Sports Network. Then they close out the week on Friday with a game on the road against the Calgary Flames (9pm start).

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