NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers rattled off their second straight win with a 3-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Sunday at Madison Square Garden, allowing them to leapfrog the Philadelphia Flyers and reclaim second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Chris Kreider tallied twice and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season to lead the Blueshirts in the matinee Original Six match-up. With Lundqvist's fourth shutout of the season, the "King" recorded his 300th NHL victory, and now stands just one shy of Mike Richter's franchise record of 301 wins.
Just 14 seconds into the third, the Rangers took a two-goal lead on the Wings with Kreider’s deflection in front. Kreider, battling in front of the net, got his stick on Ryan McDonagh’s slap shot from the left point. He notched his second of the game later in the period, using his speed to convert on a 2-on-1 rush for a 3-0 lead at 12:11. Both Derek Stepan and McDonagh finished the game with a pair of assists each.
Meanwhile, the regulation loss drops Detroit out of the playoff picture for now, an unfamiliar spot for the Original Six team that has not missed the playoffs since 1990. The Columbus Blue Jackets, tied with the Wings at 71 points, have a game in hand on Detroit.
Boyle-ing point: The Rangers’ fourth line delivered an important first goal, as Brian Boyle salvaged a broken play for a 1-0 lead just 5:14 into the period. After John Moore’s shot from the slot was blocked, snapping the defenseman’s stick, Boyle pounced on the loose puck and buried his fifth of the season. Boyle’s goal was the first 5-on-5 goal in the last three games.
Getting chippy: The officials really seemed to swallow their whistles in the second period despite some nasty tussles between the two teams. After Dan Girardi rocked Drew Miller near the benches, Justin Abdelkader and Ryan McDonagh got into an extended pushing mash. Abdelkader later shoved Anton Stralman into the net, which toppled over and trapped Lundqvist -- no call.
Still sitting: Depth defenseman Raphael Diaz was a healthy scratch for the third straight game since his deadline-day acquisition, one that largely flew under-the-radar after the Rangers and Lightning’s headline-grabbing captain swap.