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Rangers' Lundqvist pitches fourth shutout

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist sweeps aside a first-period shot, one of 30 saves he made in the Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Flyers. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist sweeps aside a first-period shot, one of 30 saves he made in the Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Flyers. (SETH WENIG/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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Associated Press / November 6, 2007

The questions thrown at Henrik Lundqvist are posing more of a challenge than the pucks he is deflecting with relative ease.

There is no clear-cut reason why the third-year goalie has been so good and so durable so far in the young season, but he isn't pressing for answers.

Lundqvist earned his fourth shutout of the season, stopping 30 shots, and Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan accounted for the offense in the New York Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers last night at Madison Square Garden.

Not only has Lundqvist looked incredibly sharp, he has shown no signs of fatigue despite playing all 14 games for the Rangers (7-6-1).

"I don't know what to say," the 25-year-old Swede said. "Going into the season everybody was talking about our offensive game. But we've been playing a really strict game, defensive hockey, smart hockey. The good part is it starts to pay off."

New York, which struggled during a 2-5-1 start, won its fourth straight to finish a 5-1 homestand. The first-place Flyers (8-5) were shut out for the first time this season despite having forward Simon Gagne back from a four-game absence because of dizziness.

New York has scored an NHL-low 25 goals this season and is tied with Columbus for best in the league with 23 yielded.

"The guys really worked in the third period and didn't allow Philly to create much," Lundqvist said. "We've played like a team that's ahead, 10-0, in the third period."

Philadelphia has lost eight of 11 to the Rangers, who fired a season-high 45 shots at Martin Biron.

Penguins 5, Devils 0 - Sidney Crosby scored twice and Dany Sabourin made 20 saves for his first shutout to lead visiting Pittsburgh. Adam Hall, Petr Sykora, and Erik Christensen also scored for the Penguins.

Crosby and Hall had first-period goals to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. Crosby, the NHL leader in power-play points, improved his total to 12 by snapping a rebound past Martin Brodeur at 12:09.

The Sykora goal at 5:48 of the second period was a turning point. Pittsburgh had blown two-goal leads in the past two games, resulting in a pair of losses.

"We have to learn from our mistakes," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I was really impressed with the way we played the third period."

Hurricanes 5, Capitals 0 - Cory Stillman scored a hat trick just 11:28 into the game as part of a four-point effort to carry host Carolina.

Eric Staal added two goals and Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen had two assists for the Hurricanes, who improved to 5-1-1 at home. Cam Ward made 35 saves for the Southeast Division-leaders.

Canadiens 2, Sabres 0 - Cristobal Huet made 29 saves for his first shutout in nearly a year and Tomas Plekanec scored in the second period to send Montreal to a home victory. Huet stopped 16 shots in the first period on his way to his 14th career shutout.

Wild 5, Oilers 2 - Goaltender Niklas Backstrom kept up his mastery of Edmonton, and Mark Parrish scored twice to lift host Minnesota. Backstrom made 22 saves for the Wild, improving to 6-0-0 in his career against the Oilers. His streak of three straight shutouts against them ended, but he has surrendered only four goals in those six starts.

Avalanche 4, Flames 1 - Paul Stastny scored two goals and Wojtek Wolski added a goal and two assists to spark host Colorado. Milan Hejduk had three assists for Colorado, which has beaten the Flames seven straight games.

Stars 5, Ducks 0 - Marty Turco recorded his 31st career shutout, Jere Lehtinen added a goal and two assists, and visiting Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.

Panthers 4, Lightning 3 - David Booth scored with 1:19 left in the third period and Florida kept Tampa Bay winless on the road. The Lightning, who have lost six in a row overall, are off to a franchise-worst 0-7 start on the road.

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