For the better part of 60 minutes in Philly on Wednesday night, Henrik Lundqvist showcased The King as his Rangers beat the Flyers.

  • New York Rangers 5 (27-13-1, 55 pts)
  • Philadelphia Flyers 2 (20-15-5, 45 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Finally … The King has arrived.

The final score of 5-2 in favor of the Blueshirts on NBC’s Wednesday Night Rivalry — the first such edition in January — didn’t just tickle the fans’ fancy based on the end result. I mean, sure, the New York Rangers erasing the horrid memory of a brutal home loss to the Buffalo Sabres a night ago was nice. And doing just that in Philadelphia makes it that much sweeter. 

The truth is, 5-2 isn’t the exciting set of numbers that has Big Apple fans waking up on the right side of the beds on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, the only relevant number is 30.

That’s right, 30, as in 30 saves by No. 30 wearing the red, white, and blue.

During the first period of a scoreless game at the Wells Fargo Center, Henrik Lundqvist enjoyed, undoubtedly, his finest moment of the season. Four times he stonewalled the sixth-best power play in the NHL.

Whether it was Claude Giroux or Wayne Simmonds, Henrik Lundqvist made one angry save after another. Angry, obviously, due to unfortunate circumstances as Lundqvist has been anything but spectacular this season.

The 4-1 loss to the Sabres in Manhattan seemed to be a critical tipping point for all involved, especially head coach Alain Vigneault, via Stats LLC.

“I haven’t said this very often about this group since I have been here,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told reporters after Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to the Sabres at Madison Square Garden, “but this was a very bad game, where we got outworked badly. We are going to have to respond here.”

AV wasn’t just upset, he was livid. Lundqvist, the future hall of fame goaltender he is, responded in a major way as Philly could only muster two late goals all night.

The talented scorers along the Rangers bench took care of the rest.

Kevin Hayes was thrown the Broadway Hat thanks to his two-goal night. Not once, but twice he was forced to shoot during a 2-on-1 break, resulting in snipes beating Steve Mason.

For the prettiest goal of the night, the award firmly goes to Chris Kreider:

Michael Grabner collected his 15th and 16th goals of the season, one on a beautiful feed from J.T. Miller and the other via empty-net.

While the best way to describe this team remains “inconsistent,” real meat can be taken from a performance like this. When this team, this group of personnel has a challenge brought to the table, they usually pass every test with flying colors.

More importantly, The King, Henrik Lundqvist, has proved to his people that his throne has not yet flown from underneath him.

New York will take the next two days off prior to taking on the Metropolitan leading Columbus Blue Jackets and John Tortorella in Ohio on Saturday.

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