The New York Rangers put the finishing touches on an ideal first half of the season with a 3-0 shutout of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, keeping them on top of the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star break.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 22 shots he faced as he heads to this weekend’s All-Star game, while the home team got a goal in each period from Ryan Callahan, John Mitchell and Brad Richards in a comfortable victory.
“So far it’s been a good ride,” Lundqvist told reporters. “We just have to keep challenging ourselves to try to get better and the challenge is to just stay on top.”
It was an unscheduled appearance for Lundqvist, who was supposed to get the night off, but backup Martin Biron was ruled out with illness, forcing the starter into his fifth consecutive start. It was also his fifth shutout of the season.
The win moved New York (31-12-4) two points clear of Boston in first place in the East and it came after the Rangers beat the Bruins in a showdown on Saturday.
The Jets (22-22-6), fighting to move into playoff contention, slipped to their third straight loss as they failed to pose any real offensive threat.
Ondrej Pavelec had 28 saves for Winnipeg, keeping his team within range until Richards netted a shot in the final four minutes of the game.
Tuesday’s other results:
‧ Predators 3, Blackhawks 1
‧ Penguins 3, Blues 2, SO
‧ Capitals 5, Bruins 3
‧ Flyers 3, Panthers 2, SO
‧ Coyotes 3, Senators 2
‧ Sharks 1, Flames 0
‧ Wild 3, Avalanche 2
‧ Canucks 3, Oilers 2, SO
‧ Sabres 2, Devils 1, SO
‧ Maple Leafs 4, Islanders 3, OT
‧ Stars 1, Ducks 0
‧ Lightning 4, Blue Jackets 2