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Lundqvist natural choice to start vs. B's

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
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Pregame Notes

By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

When the Rangers take the ice in Boston tonight to face the Bruins, Henrik Lundqvist will be back in goal, playing for the first time since Monday’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Avalanche at Madison Square Garden.

Lundqvist watched Martin Biron record 24 saves in his Rangers debut Thursday night when the Blueshirts edged the Maple Leafs 2-1. That night off, coupled with several days off in the schedule, has afforded Lundqvist four days in between starts.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has played some of the best hockey of his six NHL seasons in his 19 games against Boston with a remarkable .737 career winning percentage against the Bruins.
“When you get these extra days of practice you can really work on things you need to improve on, and go a little bit harder knowing that you don’t have another game right around the corner,” said Lundqvist, who started the Rangers’ first four games this season. “My game is getting there. It’s just a matter of playing a full 60 minutes, personally. I feel pretty good technically and physically, but still want to improve.”

Lundqvist mentioned after Saturday’s morning skate that “my numbers are not that good” and that correcting an extra mistake here or there is the difference between allowing one or two goals per game as compared to three or four.

In four starts, Lundqvist has posted a 3.75 goals against average and .892 save percentage, numbers that he realizes will shrink considerably as the season moves on.

“That’s what it comes down to, the small, small details in your game that you have to improve on and remind yourself what you have to work on,” said Lundqvist. “I am getting there, and hopefully we can get a good win tonight.”

Lundqvist has been tremendously successful against the Bruins over the course of his career. In 19 appearances against Boston, he is 13-4-2 with a miniscule 1.39 goals against average and four shutouts, including one last season on Nov. 1 at The Garden.

“The past is the past and every game is different, but obviously there have been a lot of good hockey games against the Bruins,” Lundqvist said. “I don’t really think about (that success) going into tonight’s game. Hopefully we can just play as well as we did in Toronto and come out with a win.”

Homecoming for Boyle

Brian Boyle
Hingham, Mass., native Brian Boyle will have quite the cheering section at TD Garden this evening. Boyle said that he requested 30 passes for family and friends at tonight’s game, and that even more have bought tickets and will be rooting him on.

“It’s always great to play up here,” said Boyle, who also played collegiately at Boston College.

Upon arriving in Boston yesterday, Boyle met up with his parents for dinner, with teammate Brandon Prust joining the family get-together. Currently, the Boyles have six of their 13 children still living at home with them, with Brian pointing out that two of his younger brothers are solid hockey prospects “and even better on the golf course.”

Boyle, who has two goals and a plus-2 rating so far this season, will once again skate on the fourth line tonight with veteran center Todd White and the rugged left wing Derek Boogaard.

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