KANATA, Ont. -- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist wasn't at his best in March and April, going 9-6-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .895 save percentage, by far his worst monthly totals in what could be a season that merits a Vezina Trophy.
That's all changed during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators.
After playing well during the series' first two games Madison Square Garden, Lundqvist delivered a virtuoso performance in Game 3, stopping 39 shots in the Rangers' 1-0 victory at Scotiabank Place to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Through three games, Lundqvist has a 1.66 GAA and .951 save percentage.
An arm injury that plagued him during regular season's final week seems to no longer be a problem.
"He comes up with big saves," forward Derek Stepan said. "He's a big part of our team and our success. He continues to stand tall in net."
Brian Boyle's goal at 7:35 of the third period was the game's only offense, but the chance came less than 30 seconds after Lundqvist made a stop on a blast from defenseman Sergei Gonchar, then got the left pad out to deny forward Colin Greening on the doorstep.
The Rangers went down to the other end and squeaked one past Anderson, and the rest fell on Lundqvist, who was in such a zone he didn't immediately take Boyle's stick at one point when his goal stick was knocked from his hands.
"He lost his behind the net," Boyle said. "I don't know if he wanted it. Sometimes goalies are a different breed. I actually asked him on the ice if he wanted it. Then he finally grabbed it because I was just going to stay there.
"He's our best player right now and our most important guy."
Lundqvist shut the door on Kyle Turris in the final minute for his fourth career postseason shutout that helped the Rangers take back home-ice advantage after squandering it in Game 2.
"Henrik was there," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We have an identity we've tried to cultivate in our locker room and every time he plays, it starts with him."
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