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game recap

Lundqvist makes 50 saves in second straight start, Rangers top Flames

New York hands Calgary third loss in row

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Henrik Lundqvist made 50 saves for the second straight game to help the New York Rangers to a 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Lundqvist, who turned 36 on Friday, is the first goaltender in NHL history to win consecutive games with 50 or more saves since the stat was first tracked in 1955-56.

"It comes down to winning," Lundqvist said. "You want to feel like you're making a difference out there. That's why I'm here. I want to try to help the team to win games. The first half of the season, I felt as good as I've felt in a few years. I want to come back to that and believe that we can win games and believe in myself. I think the last couple games we're moving in the right direction."

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Flames highlights]

 

Ryan Spooner had a goal and an assist, and Kevin Hayes and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers (29-30-6), who have won two in a row following a seven-game losing streak (0-6-1). New York trails the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets by five points in the race for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"It's been a few weeks where it's been tough," Lundqvist said. "No fun at all. When we go out there and play with a lot of energy and get good starts and compete, you enjoy it more."

Brett Kulak scored, and Jon Gillies made 24 saves for the Flames (32-25-9), who have lost three in a row and six of their past eight games (2-5-1). Calgary trails the Anaheim Ducks by three points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

"It's tough," Flames forward Mikael Backlund said. "Other teams are winning and we're not. It's obviously a tough position to put ourselves in."

Buchnevich scored 56 seconds into the second period to put the Rangers up 2-1. The goal came moments after Lundqvist made a diving save with his blocker on Backlund's shot.

Video: NYR@CGY: Hayes, Spooner combine for opening goal

"It was definitely a turning point in the game," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "He makes that save and we come right back and we score. We got great goaltending tonight and got a win out of it."

Spooner received a stretch pass from defenseman Tony DeAngelo and scored on a breakaway at 10:48 to make it 3-1. Spooner has seven points (one goal, six assists) in three games since being acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Boston Bruins on Feb. 25.

"It's been great," Spooner said. "I just really want to help out and that's what I've been trying to do. It's been fun, for sure."

Hayes gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the first period when he scored on a rebound off Spooner's shot off a face-off. 

Kulak tied the game 1-1 at 3:21, scoring off a rebound with a slap shot from the left circle.

"We've got to dig deeper," Backlund said. "There's still 16 games left. We've got to take care of our business. Move on after this and see where it takes us."

Video: NYR@CGY: Kulak finishes off hard-fought sequence

 

Goal of the game

Buchnevich's goal 56 seconds into the second period.

Video: NYR@CGY: Buchnevich scores off of Gillies' skate

 

Save of the game

Lundqvist's save on Backlund 42 seconds into the second period.

Video: NYR@CGY: Lundqvist robs Backlund with amazing save

 

Highlight of the game

Spooner's goal at 10:48 of the second period.

Video: NYR@CGY: Spooner nets first goal with the Rangers

 

They said it

"The last couple games here we've had good starts, confidence. We definitely gave up some chances. We're going. We feel pretty good about the speed we're having. We know we're going to make mistakes but we're learning as a team, a young team. It's a new mindset." -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

 

"It's a matter of scoring right now. We haven't put the puck in the net in the past three games. When we get those chances, we've got to get some traffic and bear down. Put pucks in the net. We're all getting some pretty quality looks. It's not going in." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano

 

Need to know

Lundqvist also made 50 saves in a 5-4 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 2010. … The Rangers are 18-0-0 when leading after two periods. …Hayes has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 11 games. … Matthew Tkachuk has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Kulak has two goals in 85 NHL games, both coming this season against the Rangers. … Nick Shore, who was acquired by the Flames in a trade with the Senators on Monday, played 11:08 in his debut.

 
What's next

Rangers: At the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN1, MSG, NHL.TV)

Flames: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Spooner, Lundqvist lead Rangers to 3-1 road victory

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