Discuss: Lundqvist’s 36-save shutout paces Rangers to 3-0 win


All hail King Henrik.

That was the story on Saturday at the Prudential Center as Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 shots faced in New York’s 3-0 win over New Jersey in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With the win, the Rangers gave themselves a 2-1 series lead and wrestled back home-ice advantage.

Some talking points for the comments section:

— How good has Lundqvist been in Game 3s this postseason? In Round 1, he posted a 39-save shutout against Ottawa. In Round 2, he stopped 45 of 46 shots in a triple OT win over Washington.

— Chris Kreider’s magical spring continues. He scored his fifth goal of the postseason (and third of this series) to move within one of Brad Richards for the team lead. Not bad for a 20-year-old a month removed from collegiate hockey, huh?

— Speaking of unlikely scoring leaders, Dan Girardi moved ahead of Marian Gaborik for second on the Rangers in points with his game-winning tally early in the third period. Girardi now has 3G-8A-11PTS in 17GP, pretty impressive production from a guy that had 29 points in 82 regular season games.

— Tough afternoon for New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador. He took the hooking penalty that led to Girardi’s game-winner, then was on the ice for Kreider’s insurance tally.

— Uncharacteristically quiet game from Zach Parise. No points, minus-2 rating, one hit and just three shots on goal. He’s now minus-5 over the entire series.

— Rangers captain Ryan Callahan snapped his six-game goalless drought with an empty netter late in the third.

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.