Saturday's contest did not mean much of anything for the Rangers, but don't tell that to Henrik Lundqvist.
Despite the 3-1 defeat in Ottawa, Lundqvist looked like a goaltender ready for the postseason. No. 30 made 30 saves, including 27 over the final two periods in his final tune up for a first-round matchup with the Montreal Canadiens that begins next week.
As was the case Wednesday, New York opted not to play several regular players, all of whom coach Alain Vigneault has said have "bumps and bruises." The Rangers were without Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast up front, as well as Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Nick Holden on the back end. All skated Saturday in New York.
The teams combined for just eight shots in the first period before Ottawa stepped up the pressure in the second period when they fired 16 shots on Lundqvist, with two beating the netminder to take a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Lundqvist made a handful of big stops early in the third, including denying Mike Hoffman on a partial breakaway and Alexandre Burrows with his skate to keep the Rangers down by just two.
But Jean-Gabriel Pageau's goal 6:19 into the third period extended Ottawa's lead to 3-0.
Mika Zibanejad scored in his return to Ottawa with 45 seconds remaining in the game to prevent the Rangers from being shut out for the second consecutive game.
The Rangers wrap up the regular season Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.