Henrik Lundqvist was the difference Tuesday night in the New York Rangers' 3-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Lundqvist played possibly his best game of the year in earning his seventh shutout, making 42 saves, as the Blueshirts extended their Eastern Conference lead to nine points. The shot discrepancy was more than double -- New York only had 20 shots -- but the Rangers played their physical style, blocked shots and were opportunistic, capitalizing on a few Bruins mistakes.
Callahan continued his red-hot stretch with his 23rd goal of the year midway through the first on the power play. It was an exact replica of the goal that was scored in Philadelphia on Saturday: tic-tac-toe passing -- this time, by Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto, who had the beautiful pass to the captain for the easy tap in. Callahan now has six goals in his last four games.
Ryan McDonagh, who played another strong defensive game, scored in his second straight on a wrist shot from just inside the blueline that deflected off of Zdeno Chara and into the net.
New York needs consistent efforts from its secondary scorers and needs a power play that strikes fear into opponents if they're going to go deep this season. A 37-13-5 record certainly means the Rangers have been doing things the right way, but lately they've gotten scoring from their power play and goals from outside of Gabrik, Brad Richards and Callahan. Tuesday, Artem Anisimov notched his 100th career points with his 10th goal of the year off a nice play in the defensive zone by Brandon Dubinsky that set Anisimov up with the 2-on-1 in which he faked the shot and then beat Tim Thomas far side.
But the story of this game was Lundqvist. Pick a period: He was a difference maker. The Rangers were outshot 14 to 5 in the second period and 18 to 3 in the third period. It didn't matter because the All-Star and Vezina Trophy frontrunner made saves in every fashion imaginable. It's this type of play that sets the Rangers apart from other playoff teams -- there's no other way to put it: he can flat-out steal a game.