Lundqvist ties Rangers’ win mark vs. Jets
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Another win, another milestone for Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Less than a week after the New York goalie earned his 300th NHL victory and tied the club mark for career shutouts, Lundqvist moved to the top of another list when he equaled the victory mark set my Stanley Cup-winner Mike Richter.
Lundqvist, who made 30 saves in New York’s 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, is tied with Richter at 301 wins. He can claim first place by himself as soon as Sunday when the Rangers host the San Jose Sharks.
“It’s a huge honor to be up there with him because he has meant so much to this organization, and it’s kind of surreal to see yourself up there with him,” Lundqvist said of Richter, who played his entire career with the Rangers and retired in 2003. “I’m just extremely proud.
“It means that I’ve been here awhile and been lucky enough to play with a lot of great players who helped me get here.”
He got a big boost on Friday from Swedish countryman Carl Hagelin, who scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick.
“It feels good, I’ve never had one before, not even in college,” said Hagelin, who has a career-high 16 goals.
The teams were tied 2-2 heading into the second period, but Hagelin’s second goal of the game with under eight seconds left in the frame proved to be the winner. He finished the hat trick in the third.
Chris Kreider also scored for New York (36-28-4). The Rangers went 1-2 on a three-game trip, bouncing back from a 2-1 loss at Minnesota on Thursday. New York took a 1-0 lead on its third shot of the game.
“You can’t come on a road trip and go back empty handed, those are two big points,” said Rangers forward Martin St. Louis, who came out of the penalty box, grabbed the puck and set up New York’s go-ahead goal at the end of the second. “Being able to come out of the box and get one was I think big (for) the momentum of our team.”
Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd scored for the Jets (30-29-9), who have lost six straight and are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Jets failed to earn a point as they had in three of the previous five losses.
“I don’t think guys in here are giving up,” Ladd said. “I want to think we’re trying as hard as we can to get this going in the right direction.”
The Jets outshot the Rangers 32-23 but couldn’t get any past Lundqvist after the first period.
“The third period we came out and kind of threw everything we had at them,” said Winnipeg center Bryan Little, whose assist on his club’s second goal kept him in the scoring lead for the Jets with a career-high 54 points. “But we couldn’t find a way. Our mistakes kind of made us pay.”
Hagelin deflected his first goal past goalie Ondrej Pavelec at 1:15. The goal had barely been announced when Byfuglien tied the game at 2:33 when he batted Blake Wheeler’s rebound past Lundqvist.
Less than a minute later, Ladd celebrated his 600th NHL game by putting the Jets up 2-1. He found the upper corner of the net with a wrist shot from the circle on Lundqvist’s stick side at 3:26.
“They did a good job coming at us hard, very aggressive,” Hagelin said. “At the same time we played such an aggressive style you might give up some scoring chances that are really grade-A scoring chances.”
Winnipeg was cycling the puck in the Rangers’ zone until Kreider broke away and scored at 11:28 with Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian on his heels.
Neither team managed a shot during their one power play each in the first period, and the Jets outshot the Rangers 11-8.
Al Montoya took over for Pavelec in the Winnipeg net at the start of the second. The Jets said Pavelec left because of a lower-body injury.
The Jets also lost fourth-line forward Chris Thorburn to injury. They have tried to remain positive and not look back at their losses, but Little admitted that isn’t easy.
“It’s getting harder right now,” Little said. “We’re really fighting to win and they’re not coming easy by any means. ... Coming into the rink (Saturday) is going to be tough because tonight was a painful one.
“I wish we could go out and redo the whole game right now.”
The Rangers and Jets traded plenty of scoring chances in the second, and Winnipeg outshot New York 11-7. But with eight seconds left, St. Louis fed Hagelin from behind the net, and he flipped in a backhander.
Hagelin finished his first NHL hat trick at 8:50 of the third period off a pass from Brad Richards.
NOTES: The Rangers evened the season series with the Jets. Winnipeg won the first meeting 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 2.