Canadiens avoid 2-0 hole with comeback win against Rangers
The New York Rangers were seventeen seconds away from going home up two games to nothing in the first round match-up against the Montreal Canadiens.
In the opening game of the best-of-seven series on Wednesday, the Rangers also took a one-goal lead into the third period but held on tight, limiting Montreal to just six shots in the third.
Montreal pulled Price late in the third, but Michael Grabner settled the issue with an empty-net goal with 1:10 left to play.
Our poll question today: Will the Rangers prevail and win the best-of-7 series against Montreal?
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) celebrates with Evgeni Malkin (71), and Sidney Crosby (87) after the team's 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series in Pittsburgh, Friday, April 14, 2017.
Brandon Saad scored for Columbus.
"I don't think it has anything to do with our mindset", Jeff Petry said about switching from home to the road. "But we're digging in on it, and so far we've been good at it".
NY compiled a 21-16-4 record at the Garden during the regular season, which was the worst home record for all of the teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
After shutting out the Canadiens in Game 1, NY goalie Henrik Lundqvist faced 58 shots in the second game, 20 more shots than his counterpart, Carey Price. The Rangers need to do something to engage the fanbase and make the home ice advantage real and not perceived.
"We definitely played strong", said Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, who fed Radulov for the winning goal. "The first two games we had strong starts and we need to continue to have that approach". Game 3 goes Sunday night in Columbus. After almost falling into an 0-2 hole, the Canadiens now have the series lead. The Canadiens eventually evened the series on Alexander Radulov's victor late in the extra period. There's nothing done yet. "They did a good job of keeping pucks in tonight and that's where we got hurt". If Holden doesn't break his stick trying to slash the stick out of Plekanec's hand, the Rangers exit Bell Centre with a 2-0 series lead.
After Lundqvist froze the puck on Lehkonen's bull move to the net, Tomas Plekanec expertly won the draw at the other end.
Radulov made it 3-0 with some nice stickhandling, dumping the puck past Lundqvist with 4:25 left. His shutout was spoiled by Brady Skjei with 2:56 remaining and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on the bench for an extra attacker. "Our fans, I think the building is gonna be loud and we've got to be ready for the start of the game".
Lundqvist did everything he could for a third game in a row and made several hard saves over the first two periods to keep the game scoreless.
Unfortunately, it seems Montreal's penalty killers light up and relish the opportunity, where the Rangers power play seems to run and duck for cover. This is the first time in his career that he's faced more than 50 shots in a game that didn't go to double overtime.
"We're definitely fighting it a little bit, to say the least", NY captain Ryan McDonagh said. Jordie Benn, a Habs defenseman, threw some more punches at Zuccarello.
Kassian scored 42 seconds into the second when Sharks forward Joe Pavelski lost control of the puck at the Oilers blue line. D Andrei Markov appeared in his 86th playoff game, tying Yvon Lambert, Bert Olmstead and Peter Mahovlich for 40th place on the franchise list. Rangers D Kevin Klein played after sitting out the first two games of the series. San Jose's power play was ranked 25th in the National Hockey League in the regular season at 16.7 percent.
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Apr 16 2017