Henrik Lundqvist turned 35 on Thursday. You probably would never be able to tell that judging by the way he played that night.
Lundqvist made 31 saves while Pavel Buchnevich and Oscar Lindberg added goals, and the Rangers completed a season sweep of the Boston Bruins in a 2-1 victory at TD Garden. It’s the Rangers first regular season sweep of Boston since the 2006-07 season.
The Rangers (41-21-2) didn’t Lundqvist much help for his birthday, as, despite the win, were generally outplayed by Boston, primarily in the early portions of the game. Through two periods, the Rangers only put up 11 shots, with Boston countering with 20, but Lundqvist remained strong, stopping everything put toward him. Facing a Boston team that had won 7 of its past 8 under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, Lundqvist held off the Boston rush, keeping the Rangers in the game.
In the third, the Rangers finally broke through, as on their first shot of the third period, Pavel Buchnevich sniped a slap shot upper shelf past Tuukka Rask, breaking the scoreless tie and putting the Rangers up 1-0. Fueled by the sustained pressure, the Rangers earned another point from their fourth line, as Oscar Lindberg weaved his way through the Boston defense to score his third goal in the past six games, and give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
Looking to keep their hot streak up, the Bruins (33-25-6) did add a score of their own, as Brad Marchand put in a rebound of David Pastrnak’s shot, spoiling the shutout for Lundqvist’s birthday, and narrowing the gap to 2-1. The King otherwise held strong, stopping all other Boston attempts to tie the score, and the Rangers were able to complete the Bruins sweep. Lundqvist did earned an extra gift, a bit of history, with the win, as with 403 wins, he ties Grant Fuhr for 10th most all-time.
Before embarking on a four-game road trip, the Rangers will now head home for a game with another Atlantic Division contender, the Montreal Canadiens (7:00, MSG).