3 things we learned in the NHL: Long live the King

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and 58th of his career, leading the New York Rangers past the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Wednesday night.

It was a quiet night in the NHL, but there was still some notable action.

Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut, albeit in a loss, the New York Rangers shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Vancouver Canucks held on to edge the Arizona Coyotes.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL:

Milestone for King Henrik: It was a special night for New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Not only was he the best player on the ice in a 34-save shutout over the Penguins, but the star goalie picked up his 366th career win, the most by a goalie through his first 11 NHL seasons.

He passed New Jersey Devils legend Martin Brodeur with the win on Wednesday. Lundqvist has been especially good as of late, recording wins in four straight games and only allowing four goals over that stretch. With core players Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh on the shelf, Lundqvist is stepping up for New York at the most opportune time.

Mrazek should be in Vezina conversation: Speaking of red-hot goaltenders, Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings has been an incredibly valuable asset this season. The Czech netminder leads the league in both save percentage and goals-against average after stopping 22 of 23 shots in Detroit’s win over Ottawa Wednesday, spoiling Phaneuf’s debut as a Senator.

The Red Wings have now won three straight games. Mrazek ranks among the top three in the league in shutouts, and according to MLive.com has the best shutout-to-games played ratio in Red Wings franchise history. Based on his performance this year, Mrazek should be mentioned alongside New Jersey’s Cory Schneider and Washington’s Braden Holtby, who we’ve praised in this space throughout the season, as the top goalies in the sport right now.

Canucks do their moms proud: It seems that the Canucks might have stumbled upon a winning strategy: play in front of their moms. The team has won its second straight game on the road, both having come with a sizeable cheering section of mother Canucks.

Ryan Miller was excellent Wednesday night, stopping 33 of 34 shots, though he did need a little help from Alex Biega. The defenceman saved a sure-goal late in the third to preserve the 2-1 win, delighting Mrs. Miller and Co. in the process.

The Canucks head home for a three-game homestand that starts Saturday against the Leafs, but given that the team is in the middle of a serious dogfight as they try to find a spot in the playoffs, there’s no reason not to invite the moms to every game (home or away), for the foreseeable future.

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