Henrik Lundqvist shines as New York Rangers take out Kings at MSG (Highlights) 1
Jan 23, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

In what was possibly his best game of the season, Henrik Lundqvist dominated the Los Angeles Kings in route to a New York Rangers home win.

  • New York Rangers 3 (31-16-1, 63 pts)
  • Los Angeles Kings 2 (22-21-4, 48 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Forget about the fact the Los Angeles Kings were able to slip two goals past the goal line at Madison Square Garden on Monday night (including one with just 0.8 remaining in regulation). This notion is the least important aspect when thinking about the end result.

What mattered was the way No. 30 actually played in net.

Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t his same washed-up self he’s been showcasing for much of the season. From opening puck-drop, The King was equipped with a swagger New York Rangers fans became accustomed to for most of his brilliant career.

Whenever his team needed a stop in a big spot, Hank was there. His 36 total saves couldn’t even begin to describe how on point the guy was. There were far too many big saves to count when it came to the Kings putting pressure on in key spots.

A few sequences had the Garden faithful blurting out that familiar chant we haven’t heard much of this season, “Henrik, Henrik, Henrik.”

He didn’t do it alone, however.

Without Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast, New York’s offense remained solid. Matt Puempel, who made his return from a concussion, did so in style. He added his sixth of the season 13:28 into the second period to extend his team’s lead to 2-0.

It was a beauty spearheaded by Dan Girardi and later Derek Stepan.

The first goal-scorer of the night was Brandon Pirri, who capitalized on a brutal Kings’ turnover.

At one point in the game, the Rangers were being outshot 12-2 while holding a 1-0 lead. Alain Vigneault shook up the lines and much to his delight, it worked.

The feel good goal came from Mats Zuccarello who put one to the back of the net for the first time in 16 games. He was set up by a tremendous individual effort by J.T. Miller.

Zuc’s goal turned out to be the game-winner thanks to the last-second goal from Kyle Clifford. L.A.’s other tally came from Jordan Nolan near the end of the second period.

Though Lundqvist faced 38 shots, New York’s defense was solid. By no means was it tremendous. At times the future hall of fame goalie needed to bail his squad out, but it was certainly something welcomed by Rangers fans who’ve gotten all over their goalie this season.

Now sitting with the second-most wins in the NHL, the Rangers will turn their attention to the Philadelphia Flyers, a team that’ll visit Manhattan for a Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup — the last contest prior to the NHL All-Star break.

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