The Rangers saved their best of the series for the last of the series, and that wasn’t enough, either.

One year to the day after their 2012 elimination by the Devils in the conference finals, the Rangers were eliminated by the Bruins in the conference semifinals.

Unhappy anniversary to them.

The Rangers took a step backward this season, and they know it. They could not maintain the standard they established last season. They were ill-suited to the Black-and-Blueshirts that fit a different cast so snugly a year ago.

“I expected more from us and I hoped for more,” Henrik Lundqvist said after the 3-1 empty-net-abetted elimination defeat in which the Blueshirts played with passion and pushed the Bruins to the finish. “This was a different season.

“Last year was just a different feeling. This game is about winning. When you win, there’s one feeling. When you’re not winning, there’s another feeling.”

Lundqvist has one year remaining on his contract before he can become a free agent. Yesterday, moments after his eighth NHL season had ended far short of the objective, was not the time for the goaltender to project the future.

Yet, know this: Everything depends on the 31-year-old Lundqvist re-upping in New York. Everything depends on the Rangers giving their franchise player every piece of gold he desires — if it’s the max, it’s the max — in order to keep him from seeking silver somewhere else.

Everything will change if Lundqvist declines to sign an extension this summer and instead waits it out and plays it out next season.