Henrik Lundqvist, Rich Peverley

Henrik Lundqvist’s 11th shutout of the year propels Rangers past Bruins 1-0


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.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, which reminds you that these guys are more than just numbers – whether those numbers be disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may only become more painful.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.