In his 10th straight start Tuesday night, Henrik Lundqvist delivered one of his best performances this season, a 37-save effort to lead the Rangers to an Eastern Conference title.
In that 5-3 win over the Flyers, Lundqvist made several incredible stops -- a lightning-quick glove save on Wayne Simmonds' point-blank power-play attempt in the first, then a sensational diving save on Claude Giroux's one-timer late in the second -- but appeared to be smarting after Giroux's blast stung him on the right forearm.
After the Rangers completed the series sweep to secure their first conference and division titles since the 1993-94 Stanley Cup-winning season, Lundqvist had his right arm wrapped in ice. He said he was forced to play through some pain in the third period and felt pretty stiff.
One would imagine that, with the Rangers' No. 1 seed already locked in, Lundqvist might have received Thursday's game in Pittsburgh off to rest regardless. Now that scenario appears even more likely.
If so, Martin Biron will make his first start since March 15. Coincidentally, the last time he played was in a surprise start against the surging Penguins with Lundqvist out because of the flu. Biron gave up five goals as the Rangers fell 5-2 to their Atlantic Division foes.
Will he start tonight?
Although the Rangers have home-ice advantage locked up, the Penguins need a win to open the first round in Pittsburgh. The Penguins lead the Flyers by only three points in the standings, but the two teams meet in the season finale Saturday.