Thursday night was all about the masked men at Madison Square.
In one of the best goaltending duels of the season, Henrik Lundqvist edged Jimmy Howard as the Rangers beat the Red Wings 1-0, giving New York its fourth win in its last five games.
Mats Zuccarello scored his team-leading 12th goal of the year with less than six minutes remaining to give the Blueshirts the victory but, really, this one was all about Lundqvist and Howard.
The former stopped all 38 shots faced for his third shutout of the season, but might’ve been the second-best netminder on the ice. Howard was nothing short of brilliant for the Wings, stopping 47 of 48 shots — including 35 through the first two periods — and appears to be regaining some of the form that got him a nod at the No. 3 goalie for the U.S. Olympic team.
Speaking of the Olympics, Sweden has to be thrilled at how Lundqvist has turned on his game in recent weeks. He’s given up two goals or less in each of his last five games and now has a save percentage of over .940 for the month of January.