BOSTON — Henrik Lundqvist made 42 saves for his NHL-leading seventh shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 3-0 on Tuesday night to widen the gap between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Rangers won their fourth straight game and opened a nine-point lead over Boston in the East.
Ryan Callahan scored for the sixth time in four games, and Ryan McDonagh and Artem Anisimov also had goals for the Rangers, who were outshot 42-20. It was Lundqvist’s 42nd career shutout.
Tim Thomas made 17 saves for the Bruins, who are 6-7-1 in their last 14 games.
The Rangers won their second straight game in Boston this season, and Lundqvist has been a big reason why. He also beat the Bruins 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 21, and he is 18-5-2 against them in his career, with six shutouts.
Lately, he has been pretty good against everyone: Lundqvist is 7-1 in his last eight games with three shutouts, and he hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals in any of those games. His 42 saves were a season high.
Callahan opened the scoring midway through the first period with a power-play goal when he deflected a pass from Michael Del Zotto past Thomas. That gave Callahan 23 goals for the season, tying the career high he set last season.
McDonagh made it 2-0 with just 12 seconds left in the first. It stayed that way until Anisimov skated in on the right side, faked the crossing pass to Del Zotto and snapped off a quick wrist shot past Thomas’ glove to make it 3-0 with 17:07 left in the game. It was Anisimov’s 100th career NHL point.
Boston had two good chances to spoil the shutout, first in second period during a scramble in front of the net that left Milan Lucic celebrating. But referee Dave Jackson never lost sight of the puck that was loose in the crease amid the tangle of bodies, and play continued; replays showed he was correct.
Midway through the third, Dennis Seidenberg’s shot seemed to go in, but it was actually caught in the padding at the side of the net.
Notes: Boston is 3-5 since Tim Thomas skipped the team’s White House visit. … The Bruins open a six-game road trip in Montreal on Wednesday night. … Fifteen of the previous 18 games between these teams had been decided by one goal. Six went to overtime. … The Rangers are 50-29-12 against Original Six teams since 2005-06, including 19-5-2 against the Bruins. … The Bruins signed D Johnny Boychuk to a three-year, $10.1 million contract extension. … Rangers F Brandon Dubinsky left the ice after being hit in the face with a deflected puck with about 4 minutes left.