Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 36 shots he faced and Brian Boyle matched a career high with his fourth goal of the season as the Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 at Air Canada Centre for their first win in three games.
Lundqvist made half of his saves in the second period, when the Leafs outshot the Rangers 18-12 but came away down two goals after Ryan Callahan scored on a penalty shot at the 18:35 mark.
"It all starts with Hank from the goal on out," Boyle said. "If we keep pucks out of our net we are going to be successful. Simple as that. This was a great builder for us."
Jean-Sebastien Giguere finished with 22 saves for Toronto, which is 1-4-1 since an overtime win at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 15 in the first meeting of the season between these teams. That included a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on home ice Oct. 21. The Leafs were also shut out by the Bruins on Thursday and haven't scored in the last 122 minutes, 24 seconds.
"No one's going to come in and help us get out of this," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "It's the guys that are in this room that are going to get us out of this, and we're confident we will."
Boyle, who scored twice against the Leafs at the Garden, opened the scoring with 6:48 left in the first with a backhander past Giguere.
A former first-round pick by Los Angeles in the 2003 Entry Draft, Boyle scored 4 goals in an eight-game cup of coffee with the Kings during the 2007-08 season and added 4 goals in 28 games the following season. Acquired by the Rangers in a trade, Boyle had 4 goals in 71 games last season.
"He's a pretty important guy for us," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I was even double-shifting him there in the second period. So he's become a pretty important guy for us. What he's getting, he deserves."
Lundqvist's second-period heroics included a stop on a point-blank chance by Francois Beauchemin and several saves on Phaneuf and young forward Tyler Bozak. Phaneuf had six shots through 40 minutes while Bozak got a number of whacks at a loose puck near the post that Lundqvist kept out with his right pad.
Callahan intercepted a Phaneuf pass and was tripped up on a breakaway by Phil Kessel, setting up his penalty shot. He converted, the first Ranger to score on a penalty shot since Sean Avery against Tampa Bay on Feb. 14 of last season.
"I had planned a couple moves in my head depending on what (Giguere) did," Callahan said. "I eventually tried a backhand-forehand move and fortunately it went in."
Lundqvist finished off the shutout by making a sprawling stop on Mikhail Grabovski late in the game. His teammates also helped him out by blocking a season high 35 shots, including five by defenseman Steve Eminger. The Rangers blocked 30 shots in their Oct. 21 win over the Leafs.
Lundqvist's 25th career shutout moved him past Mike Richter, Chuck Rayner and Gump Worsley into fourth on the franchise's all-time list.
"I'm happy with the way I played, but the guys did a great job of blocking guys out and blocking shots, too," Lundqvist said. "They came really hard at us the last 10-15 minutes, but we got skates and sticks in the way, which was huge."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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|Brandon Prust Fighting (maj) against Mike Komisarek|
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|Brandon Dubinsky Slashing against Phil Kessel|
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