NEW YORK (AP) — As he has so many times before, Henrik Lundqvist kept the New York Rangers in the game long enough for its scorers to break through.
Lundqvist stopped 39 shots, Paul Carey scored twice and the Rangers beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Tuesday night to win their third straight. Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner also scored for New York, and Nick Holden and David Desharnais each had two assists.
It was the 422nd career win for the 35-year-old Lundqvist, who is 9-2 over his past 12 starts, including a no decision.
“I think the way I take care of myself right now as I am getting older — the way I eat, the way I sleep, the way I prepare — I try to do everything I can to stay on top of my game,” Lundqvist said. “I feel like the team is playing really well and that’s helpful. I can focus on the shooter a lot. It’s a big thing for me to commit to the shooter a lot more, feeling that support from the guys around me.”
Ondrej Kase scored for the Ducks, who have lost three straight. John Gibson made 28 saves.
The Ducks outshot the Rangers 16-10 in the first period and had several quality scoring opportunities. However, Lundqvist covered up a few defensive breakdowns, giving New York’s offense time to get on track.
The Rangers scored twice in 1:24 spanning the first intermission. Desharnais found a streaking Carey at 19:14 of the first period, and Hayes scored 38 seconds into the second for a 2-0 lead.
“I hate to say it but I think we are finding ways to lose hockey games at the moment,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “You have to find ways to win games. We have to dig in, buckle down defensively and win one of these games 1-0, something like that. We have to give our goaltenders more help than that.”
Carey scored again at 13:00 of the middle frame. Desharnais stopped short near the hash marks and found Carey alone in the slot. Jimmy Vesey also assisted on the play.
Desharnais had been playing well on the top line while center Mika Zibanejad missed nine games with a concussion, but Zibanejad returned Tuesday. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault slid Desharnais to the fourth line, but he still contributed and has nine points in his last 10 games.
“At the end of the day you’re going to get injuries during the season, and that’s opportunities for other guys,” Vigneault said. “Tonight, with Vesey and Carey he made some real good plays. That line got some good looks and were able to contribute. That is what we expected.”
Grabner scored his 17th of the season at 16:37 of the third for a 4-1 lead. The speedy Austrian forward converted on his own rebound. The play was reviewed, but the referee’s determined the puck completely crossed the goal line before an Anaheim defenseman batted the puck out of the air.
Kase was able to sneak a wrist shot between Lundqvist’s pad at 14:43 of the third period. Getzlaf and Josh Manson got assists.
Anaheim scratched defenseman Brandon Montour, and Francois Beauchemin dressed in his place. Montour has now played in 33 of 35 games this season, missing one game due to injury.
NOTES: Holden got his 100th career point on Carey’s first goal. … Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh skated in his 497th NHL game. … New York scratched D Steven Kampfer and C Boo Nieves. … Ducks F Andrew Cogliano is the NHL’s active leader in consecutive games played (821). … Anaheim scratched D Korbinian Holzer and C Dennis Rasmussen. … The Rangers have earned at least one point in 13 of their last 14 home games, dating to Oct. 26 (12-1-1 record over the span).
Rangers: Visit Devils on Thursday night.
Ducks: Visit Islanders on Thursday night.