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.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn
Ben Scrivens is off to Belarus. The 29-year-old goalie has reportedly signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.
Scrivens made 14 starts for the Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16, failing to really take advantage of his opportunity with the Habs and finishing 5-8-0 with a .906 save percentage.
In total, Scrivens made 144 appearances (130 starts) in NHL games, his best season coming in 2013-14, which he split between Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Oilers gave up a third-round draft pick to get him. They eventually acquired Zack Kassian when they dealt him away.
Related: Maple Leafs reportedly close to signing Jhonas Enroth