Filip Chytil and Brett Howden scored to back Lundqvist’s 437th career win as the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 Monday night. Lundqvist tied Jacques Plante for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list.
“The guy knows how to win hockey games,” alternate captain Marc Staal said of the 36-year-old Lundqvist. “You have to be an elite competitor and elite goaltender to have that many wins, it’s that simple. He is brought that his entire time here.”
The Rangers improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven, getting their longest points streak since an 11-0-2 run Oct. 18 to Nov. 15, 2015.
Lundqvist stopped 25 shots, including two big saves on Vancouver’s rookie sensation Elias Pettersson in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
“We have to keep same mindset as when we started the season,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of teams in the league in the same boat, will come down to how hard you want to work. It’s about being consistent — you can beat any team in the league”
Nikolay Goldobin scored and Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves for the Canucks, who snapped a six-game point streak (4-0-2).
The 19-year-old Chytil tied the score 1-1 with 7:18 left in the second on a rebound from the left side for his first of the season. After earning a spot on the roster out of training camp, he struggled to find the back of the net in the first 18 games. Rangers coach David Quinn said earlier in the day he had not lost faith in the talented teenager and was rewarded for his patience. Chris Kreider and Neal Pionk assisted on the play.
The 20-year Howden got the game-winner with 8:41 left in the third when he snapped a wrist shot past Markstrom. Jimmy Vesey and Jesper Fast assisted on the play. Howden missed one game earlier in November for precautionary reasons after a scary collision with the end boards against Buffalo.
“You can play your young players and win. That’s what we have done so far,” Quinn said after the victory. “We want to win right now. That was our goal from day one and that is our goal right now.”
It was the first time two players 20-years-old or younger scored for the Rangers since Daniel Goneau and Christian Dube did it in October 1996.
Goldobin gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead at 3:16 of the second. Shortly after exiting the penalty box, Goldobin picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and started an odd-man rush for Vancouver. The Russian winger kept it himself and wired a wrister into the top corner. Tyler Motte and Ben Hutton assisted on the play.
The Canucks thought they doubled their advantage less than a minute later when Michael Del Zotto’s shot hit both posts and the cross bar. The referees initially called the play a good goal on the ice but it was later overturned after a video review.
“It’s tough right now, but I thought we played a really good road game,” Markstrom said. “We created a lot of chances and could’ve scored a lot of goals. We have to keep working. The good thing with this league is that there’s a game tomorrow.”
NOTES: Rangers F Pavel Buchnevich suffered a broken thumb Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and will be sidelined 4-6 weeks. … The Rangers’ Cody McLeod fought the Canucks’ Darren Archibald midway through the second period. … New York D Brendan Smith was scratched for the second consecutive game. . New York F Chris Kreider skated in his 399th career NHL game. … The Canucks scratched F Brendan Gaunce and D Alex Biega.
Canucks: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Rangers: At the New York Islanders on Thursday night.