New York, NY (Sports Network) – Wojtek Wolski scored his first goal in a Rangers uniform and Henrik Lundqvist recorded his sixth shutout of the season, as New York snapped Vancouver’s 17-game point streak with a 1-0 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Lundqvist made 31 saves to send the Canucks to their first regulation loss since a 3-2 setback to the Blues on December 5. Vancouver had a 14-0-3 record over its previous 17 contests.
It was the 30th career shutout for Lundqvist, whose assist streak stopped at three games.
“30 is a good number,” Lundqvist said. “Hopefully I can keep it going a little bit longer. Every shutout is important. This was a good win to come back. It is so important to respond with two points. This helps us in the standings.”
Wolski was playing in just his second game with the Rangers since they acquired him from the Coyotes on January 10.
Cory Schneider suffered the loss despite stopping 34-of-35 shots for the Canucks, who lead the NHL with 62 points.
Lundqvist made 11 saves in a scoreless first frame, while Schneider turned aside eight shots.
The lone goal of the contest came on the power play at the 7:18 mark of the second period. Following a right faceoff draw, Marian Gaborik fired a shot on net from in close. Wolski was there to jam home the rebound.
“It was exciting. The fans, our team and our coaching staff was involved and putting the effort into it,” Wolski said. “We are excited to get the win.”
Lundqvist, who stopped nine shots in the middle stanza, made 11 saves in the third.
The difference in the game proved to be Vancouver’s inability to score on the power play, as the visitors wasted all three chances, including a brief 5- on-3.
The Canucks had won four straight meetings with New York…Vancouver had won five in a row on the road…Lundqvist moved into a tie with John Ross Roach for third on the Rangers all-time regular season shutouts list (30).
Coming off a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Candiens, the New York Rangers are in need of a big win against a good opponent. The Canucks are probably the NHL's best team, so this should be a good litmus test for the Rangers during this surprising season.
The Rangers (and mainly John Tortorella) should still be looking to get an idea of just what kind of player they currently have in Wojtek Wolski. Wolski had a good game against the Canadiens, and played nearly 20 minutes. Ice time was a big issue for him in Phoenix, and he did well with the time he was given here in New York.
Henrik Lundqvist, who despite a rough goal had a heck of a game, is expected to get the start again.
Speaking of stars, Marian Gaborik looked a little better with Wolski on his wing, and that's a marriage that's at least going to get another look tonight. Who knows if it lasts but even Tortorella admitted that he needed to give it a little more time before he made a final ruling.
Generally speaking, however, I thought they looked good together. But I'm betting my opinion won't be swaying Tortorella's anytime soon.
Ryan McDonagh will also be playing, which is good since he's shown great strides since he was brought up. It will be interesting to see how he handles one of the better offensive duos in the NHL.