New York Rangers’ Ryan Spooner, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jon Gillies during second period NHL action in Calgary on Friday, March 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Henrik Lundqvist makes 50 saves as New York Rangers top Calgary Flames 3-1

Rangers 3 Flames 1

CALGARY — Henrik Lundqvist tied a career high with 50 saves for the second straight start to backstop the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Recently acquired centre Ryan Spooner led New York (29-30-6) with a goal and an assist. The 26-year-old has one goal and six assists in three games since he was part of a package traded to the Rangers from Boston for Rick Nash.

Kevin Hayes and Pavel Buchnevich also scored for New York. After beating Vancouver 6-5 to open its tour through Western Canada, the Rangers will go for the sweep Saturday night when they take on the Edmonton Oilers.

Brett Kulak scored for Calgary (32-25-9), which has lost three straight and is falling back of the pack battling for the final playoffs spots in the Western Conference. Next up is a meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday as they open up a three-game road trip.

Lundqvist was excellent right from the start. Getting a power play 27 seconds into the game, the Flames threatened, but could not beat the veteran goaltender.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead shortly after. On a faceoff in the Flames end, Spooner slapped the puck directly on net off the draw. Rookie goaltender Jon Gillies stopped the high shot, but he couldn’t control the rebound and Hayes banged in the loose puck.

Tied 1-1, New York regained the lead for good 56 seconds into the second, again scoring right after some fine work from Lundqvist.

Playing without his stick, Lundqvist dove across the crease to acrobatically get his blocker on what appeared to be a sure-goal by Mikael Backlund.

The Rangers promptly raced away up ice on an odd-man rush with Buchnevich, after being stopped on his initial chance, eventually poking the puck over the line, under a sprawled Gillies.

Spooner’s breakaway goal at 10:48 of the second made it 3-1 and that would be more than enough offence for Lundqvist, who shut the door the rest of the way to improve to 25-21-5.

Gillies had 24 stops to fall to 2-2-0. The Flames fall to 3-6-1 since the loss of veteran goaltender Mike Smith to a lower-body injury, which has left the crease to rookies Gillies and David Rittich.

Notes: Matthew Tkachuk had an assist giving him 49 points, surpassing his total as a rookie… Drew Shore made his debut for the Flames. He was acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline… Rangers improve to a perfect 18-0-0 when leading after two periods… Micheal Ferland (upper body) and Kris Versteeg (hip) both practised on Friday, but wore no-contact jerseys. They’ve missed three and 43 games respectively.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

A celebration ceremony was held at City Hall Park Thursday afternoon

Sylvan Lake presents waterfront concept

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan will provide 20-year vision

Red Deer-raised artist wins the chance to exhibit at San Diego Comic Con

Micaela Dawn said courage can’t exist without fear

BioBlitz set for Lacombe Lake

Well-known Alberta naturalist to take stock of Lacombe Lake’s flora, fauna and fungi

Red Deer elementary school students play Indigenous games

Annie L. Gaetz Schools holds first-ever First Nations, Métis and Inuit Field Day Thursday

Deadline for property tax payments coming for Red Deer residents

For property owners in Red Deer, the taxman cometh. The deadline for… Continue reading

Town of Ponoka, AUPE set to resume negotiations in July

Town council rejected agreement reached between administration and union

New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON — Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a… Continue reading

Amber Tamblyn novel flips gender stereotypes as it examines rape culture

TORONTO — Actress and author Amber Tamblyn started writing “Any Man,” her… Continue reading

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA — “Black Panther” broke box office records, but “Luke Cage” once… Continue reading

Toronto police strike blow to gang with ties to the U.S. and Caribbean: chief

Toronto police say they’ve taken down a large portion of a street… Continue reading

Canada focusing on existing climate plan, has no timeline to increase ambition

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada has no immediate plans… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month