Henrik Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history to post 30-or-more wins in each of his first five NHL seasons, and the first Rangers goaltender in team history to post five straight 30-win seasons... Captured a gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy... and considered one of the top goaltenders in the game.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rangers can secure playoff spot with win today

An impressive 7-1-1 stretch run, including an exhilarating 4-3 home-ice win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night, has delivered the Rangers to the doorstep of an Eastern Conference playoff seed

However, the Rangers still need to win one more contest this afternoon at the Wachovia Center against the Flyers in the final game of the regular season in order to claim a top eight spot in the East and advance to the post-season for a fifth consecutive year.

Following a win by Boston and an overtime loss by Montreal on Saturday, the Rangers can finish in eighth place by beating the Flyers today. That would get them a first-round playoff rematch against the Washington Capitals team that took them out of last year’s playoffs in a thrilling, seven-game series.

“It’s exciting just to know what’s at stake and the position we’re in to get ourselves in the playoffs,” said defenseman Michael Del Zotto. “Everyone counted us out, and we’re kind of proving people wrong. We’ve played some great hockey, solid in our own end, scoring some goals, and obviously (Henrik Lundqvist) has been standing on his head. I’m really looking forward to this.”

With their backs against the wall following a crushing 2-1 loss at the hands of the Bruins up in Boston on March 21, virtually every game the Rangers played became a must-win. And the team responded by garnering 15 of a possible 18 points since.

However Friday night was, in reality, the first game in which the Rangers faced a true must-win situation. Had the Rangers suffered a regulation loss to the Flyers on Friday night, they would have officially been eliminated from post-season contention, and this afternoon’s contest would be meaningless.

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