If his most recent effort is any indication, the Rangers won’t have much to worry about.
Coming off his league-leading 10th shutout, Lundqvist could help New York continue its season-best winning streak when it hosts the Eastern Conference-worst Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
The seventh-place Rangers (40-30-4), who missed out on the playoffs after falling to Philadelphia 2-1 in a shootout on the last day of the 2009-10 season, remained three points ahead of eighth-place Buffalo in the East with a 1-0 victory over Florida on Tuesday.
New York has won a season-best five in a row and seven of eight thanks in large part to Lundqvist, who has started each of those games and posted a 1.98 goals-against average.
“I keep reminding myself every day that last year was one point,” said Lundqvist, who made 22 saves against the Panthers. “I don’t want to be there and I don’t think anyone else wants to be there. This is a game that could be the difference.”
Since losing a season-worst four straight at home, Lundqvist has won a season-high four in a row at Madison Square Garden while recording two shutouts and a 1.50 GAA. He is 7-3-0 with a 1.39 GAA in his last 10 starts versus the Senators.
“To have 10 shutouts in a season is a great feat, let alone with a 10th of the season left. He’s had to be unreal to keep us where we’re at. In my eyes, and I’ve shot on all the goalies, he’s the best in the league.”
Dubinsky, who leads the team with 29 assists and 51 points, has two goals and four assists over a four-game point streak. He scored the lone goal Tuesday.
The Rangers have taken two straight and five of seven from Ottawa. New York, though, has been outscored 30-17 and lost eight of 10 in the series at home with Lundqvist in net.
The Senators (27-37-9) come into New York having won nine of 15 while limiting opponents to two power-play goals in 52 opportunities.
Ottawa jumped out to a 2-0 lead Tuesday night, killed all three of its penalties, and outshot Carolina 39-24 but ultimately fell 4-3.
“Our guys played hard, they played well,” coach Cory Clouston said. “I’m not upset with the performance, with the effort (or) with the intelligence of our play.”
Since winning six of seven on the road, the Senators have allowed 10 goals en route to dropping back-to-back games as the visiting team.