The Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, have had virtually no offense and even worse play from their goalies recently, leaving them without a point in more than 10 days.
Lundqvist looks to help the Rangers secure a point in a season-high eighth straight game Thursday night when they host a Senators team trying to avoid losing its sixth in a row.
New York is coming off a tough 1-0 shootout loss to New Jersey on Tuesday, despite another sensational performance by Lundqvist.
The Swedish Olympian stopped a career-high 45 shots through overtime, but was outplayed by Martin Brodeur(notes), who will play for Team Canada. The Rangers fired a season-high 51 shots on Brodeur, who earned his fourth shutout in the last 10 games.
“It is tough to lose it,” Lundqvist said.
Although New York came out on the short end, it still managed to earn a point in its seventh straight contest (4-0-3) and improve to 8-1-4 since Dec. 17. The Rangers, who won seven consecutive games from Oct. 3-17, haven’t earned a point in eight straight games since Feb. 9-March 20, 2008, when they went 10-0-3.
“If we keep on doing the things that we’ve been doing for the last little bit, we’ll stay consistent in getting our points,” New York coach John Tortorella said.
The play from Tortorella’s goalies is a big reason the Rangers have been able to earn points during their current stretch.
Four times in New York’s last seven games, the offense has scored two goals or fewer. Marian Gaborik(notes), the Rangers’ leader with 28 goals and 26 assists, has just two goals and three assists in his last nine contests, while Ryan Callahan(notes), second on the team with 10 goals, has scored only once in the last 12 games.
The club has been bailed out by a defense that has allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last seven.
Lundqvist has made six of those starts, going 4-0-2 with a 1.30 goals-against average. He’s yielded two goals or less in 12 of his last 14 starts, and has earned the win in New York’s two games against Ottawa this season, posting a 1.44 GAA.
The Senators (22-21-4) would welcome goaltending like this. Of course, it would also help if their offense showed some signs of life, too.
Ottawa has been outscored 22-5 in losing five straight games since a 7-4 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 3. The Senators, who haven’t lost six in a row since Nov. 7-20, 2008, have been limited to one goal or fewer in four games during the slide and have yielded at least four goals in four.
No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire(notes) has been awful lately, going 0-3-0 with a 5.43 GAA in his last four starts, and backup Brian Elliott(notes) hasn’t been much better, going 0-2-0 with a 5.28 GAA in his last three games.
That played a big hand in goaltending coach Eli Wilson being relieved of his duties Wednesday. No replacement was immediately named.
Some of the Senators’ offensive problems have stemmed from a rash of injuries.
Daniel Alfredsson(notes) (separated shoulder), Jason Spezza(notes) (knee) and Jesse Winchester(notes) (knee) are all expected to miss this matchup, but defenseman Filip Kuba(notes) could return after missing the last three with an upper body injury.
Trying to snap this skid at Madison Square Garden likely won’t be easy for the Senators. After winning three of their first four games away from Ottawa, the Senators are an NHL-worst 3-12-1 on the road since Oct. 29.