NEW YORK – Henrik Lundqvist didn’t start this night with a ceremony in his honor, and he didn’t finish it with a shutout.
However, he and the New York Rangers skated off the ice Wednesday with a key 3-1 victory over the rival Philadelphia Flyers and an important two points in the Metropolitan Division playoff race.
Lundqvist stopped 30 shots and came within 1:53 of his second shutout in three games. That was enough to earn his 30th win — a mark he has reached eight times in his nine-season NHL career.
“It was huge. I thought we played a really strong game,” said Lundqvist, who is in 24th place on the NHL win list with 306. “We just have to keep going, not think too much, just keep on our details.”
Lundqvist was honored Monday for recently breaking the Rangers’ records for career wins and shutouts.
The Rangers stretched their season-best winning streak to five games, and now embark on a four-game, Western Conference trip. It is their longest winning run since another five-game spurt from Dec. 30, 2011 to Jan. 10, 2012.
The second-place Rangers moved three points ahead of third-place Philadelphia by winning what could be a playoff preview. New York has eight games remaining, and the Flyers have 10 left.
“It’s going to pay off to not make it too complicated for ourselves or think about the standings,” Lundqvist said.
Derek Dorsett scored in the first period, defenseman Ryan McDonagh added a goal in the second, and Dominic Moore made it 3-0 in the third against Steve Mason, who made 26 saves.
The Flyers’ Jakub Voracek scored his 21st goal off a faceoff with 1:53 to go to make it 3-1. Voracek scored for the third straight game, but it was too little, too late for Philadelphia.
The Flyers, who had a five-game winning streak broken against Los Angeles on Monday, have dropped two in a row for the first time since an 0-3-1 skid from Jan. 20-25.
“We didn’t play our game. We didn’t have energy. It was a weird game,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. “We have to do a better job of getting ready. We had some big wins over good teams lately. Now we need some rest.”
Canucks 5, Wild 2
In St. Paul, Minnesota, David Booth scored two unassisted goals and Eddie Lack made 29 saves to lead Vancouver.
Zack Kassian, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks as Vancouver tries to make a late push to overtake Phoenix and Dallas for the Western Conference’s final wild-card playoff spot.
Ducks 3, Flames 2
In Calgary, Andrew Cogliano scored the go-ahead goal at 14:41 of the third period.
Stephane Robidas’ shot from the blue line was kicked out by Karri Ramo but the puck went right to Cogliano at the face-off circle, who quickly fired in his 21st goal of the season.
Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault also scored for Anaheim, which kicked off a three-game road trip to Western Canada.