Henrik Lundqvist has 34 career shutouts in the regular season and three in the playoffs following last night's 1-0 victory at the Garden over the Panthers, meaning that the King now has 36 shutout pucks for his own personal trophy display.
The 37th puck? Lundqvist wants no part of it, not even half of it, for that would be the one from the 1-0 shootout game in which he and the Rangers were beaten by the Devils and Martin Brodeur at the Garden last Jan. 12 in which New Jersey had 45 shots and the Blueshirts had 51.
"We lost," Lundqvist told The Post earlier in the year. "I don't want it."
But Lundqvist will take last night's puck that represented his NHL-leading 10th shutout that matches both his career-high he first established in 2007-08 and the goal he set for himself before the season began.
"I told Benny [goaltending coach Benoit Allaire] that was my goal," Lundqvist said after a 22-save performance in which he made a couple of key stops, including a pair on Jack Skille and Mike Santorelli from the right side in the final 25 seconds with the Blueshirts protecting their one-goal lead.
"But when I talked about it before the season I knew it was going to be tough because you need a great team in front of you and you need some luck along the way. I have both."
The game marked Lundqvist's 18th straight start, the second longest stretch of his career. Unless fate intervenes, the King will match his career high of 19 consecutive starts tomorrow night at home against the Senators that he first reached in his sophomore season from Jan. 13-March 1, 2007.
"I feel great," said Lundqvist, ignoring the stiff neck he admitted bothered him in the third period. "Every other year it's been my knees, hips or back, but I feel great now.
"It's so exciting, this time of year," he said. "I think about hockey all the time now. Everything in my life is about getting ready for the next game."
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/lundqvist_notches_nhl_leading_th_fZg8thEDYu20CsEPf2Z3wN#ixzz1HSYA7lBA