BOSTON (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves. His teammates did even better.
The Rangers goalie earned his league-leading 11th shutout on Saturday, beating the Bruins 1-0 thanks largely to the skaters who dived to the ice to block 29 Boston shots before they could get to the crease.
“I’m going to have to keep buying wine, I guess,” said Lundqvist, who springs for a nice bottle for a lucky teammate after each shutout. “Our game plan really doesn’t change. It all starts with blocking shots.”
It was the Rangers’ eighth victory in their last 10 games, moving them four points ahead of eighth-place Buffalo in the Eastern Conference.
“He’s going to have to be like that for us if we’re going to continue,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “He has stepped up his play when we needed him. I thought we were playing solid in front of him, but when we needed him he stepped up.”
Derek Stepan deflected Michael Sauer’s shot into the net for the game’s only goal after two questionable no-calls that irked Bruins coach Claude Julien. One was a missed offside that allowed the Rangers to have a faceoff inside the Boston zone; Julien also felt hat a New York player took off early on the faceoff that led to the score.
“It’s unfortunate that the only goal that was scored was maybe a little bit controversial,” Julien said. “They make mistakes. They have one mulligan, but I didn’t feel that they needed two.”
After the faceoff, the puck went back to Sauer at the right point and he shot it toward the net. Stepan deflected the high shot back toward the ice, and it beat Tuukka Rask to make it 1-0 just 6:39 into the game. That ended Boston’s streak of 115 minutes, 34 seconds without allowing a goal. The Bruins had scored 11 straight — including a 7-0 shutout of the rival Canadiens on Thursday.
“No matter what, he made a good tip,” said Rask, who made 22 saves. “A 1-0 loss is always tough to take when you don’t score a goal after you score seven.”
The Bruins, who were shut out for the sixth time this season, have lost seven of their last 10 games.
“(Rask) needed a little bit of support from up front,” Julien said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t get that.”
Lundquist’s biggest scare came when Patrice Bergeron crashed into the net on a breakaway. The goalie hit his head on the back of the net and was slow to get up until a trainer came out to look at him. But he remained in the game, and he remained impervious.
The Bruins mounted a late charge, outshooting the Rangers 12-1 in the third period and putting sustained pressure on for the final 6 minutes. They pulled Rask with 90 seconds left, but couldn’t score.
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