|NYR||2||1||0||(null - null)||3|
|MTL||1||0||0||(null - null)||1|
|G: 1||Shots: 6|
|A: 1||Hits: 2|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 1||TOI: 25:24|
|SA: 41||TOI: 59:54|
|GA: 1||EV: 29-30|
|PIM: 0||PP: 10-10|
|SV%: .976||SH: 1-1|
|G: 0||Shots: 4|
|A: 2||Hits: 1|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 0||TOI: 19:10|
MONTREAL (NHL.com) - The Montreal Canadiens came out fast and ferocious, clearly filled with emotion. Carey Price, their starting goalie and unquestioned best player, was forced to watch Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final while wearing a suit and tie and a knee brace on his right leg.
The Canadiens kept the puck in the offensive zone. They got in Henrik Lundqvist's face. They scored the first goal. They did everything they wanted to do, except build on their fantastic start.
The New York Rangers allowed the Canadiens to keep their lead for all of 17 seconds Monday night at Bell Centre, and Lundqvist wouldn't allow the Canadiens to score again, not even when they pulled goalie Dustin Tokarski for a 6-on-4 during a power play late in the third period.
New York scored three unanswered goals after Montreal forward Max Pacioretty's goal 6:14 into the first period. Lundqvist made the goals stand up with 40 saves, lifting the Rangers to a 3-1 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which now shifts to Madison Square Garden for Game 3 on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
Tokarski, who was making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, playing for the injured Price, made 27 saves. He was beaten by a deflection off his own player (Josh Gorges) and on glove-side shots by Rangers forwards Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis.
Price has been ruled out for the rest of the series by Montreal coach Michel Therrien.
Nash scored for the second straight game after going 15 games without a goal, the longest such scoring drought of his career. Ryan McDonagh and St. Louis also scored for the second straight game.
McDonagh assisted on St. Louis' goal giving him six points in the series so far. He had four points on a goal and three assists in New York's 7-2 win in Game 1. Rangers center Derek Stepan had two assists, giving him four points in the series.
Montreal's power play went 0-for-4 after going 0-for-3 in Game 1.
The Rangers had lost their previous 13 playoff games after taking a lead in the series. They hadn't won back-to-back games after taking a lead in a series since the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.
New York would eventually go ahead 3-1 in that series before blowing the lead with three straight losses.
Lundqvist's struggles inside Bell Centre were well-documented before the series started. They are a thing of the past now.
He hadn't won here since March 17, 2009, or even played here since Jan. 15, 2012. In four starts in between, he was 0-3-1 with a .862 save percentage and 4.63 goals-against average.
However, Lundqvist turned aside 60 of 63 shots in Games 1 and 2.
The Canadiens got off to a lightning fast start. They had a 5-0 edge in shots on goal before St. Louis had a good chance from the slot that Tokarski turned aside with ease.
Pacioretty scored on Montreal's sixth shot. It was a fluky goal, but not a fluky shift that led to it.
Instead of trying to cover the puck in the slot, Lundqvist attempted to poke the puck out of the area toward the right side. The puck instead hit off of Pacioretty, caromed up and then into the net to give Montreal the lead.
The goal culminated a 47-second shift in the offensive zone by Montreal's top line of Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher. The Rangers failed to clear the zone twice and Mats Zuccarello lost the puck in his feet just before Lundqivst's failed poke check.
The 21,273 inside Bell Centre, who were already wound up into a tizzy before the game, erupted when Pacioretty scored. However, the Rangers quieted them down in a hurry when McDonagh scored on a deflected shot from inside the left point at 6:31.
McDonagh intercepted Tomas Plekanec's slow backhanded clearing attempt and immediately shot the puck. It deflected off Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges in front and then clanged the inside of the left post before scurrying over the goal line behind Tokarski.
The Rangers settled the game down from there and took over late in the period. They had five of the final six shots on goal of the period over a 6:18 span and Nash scored with 62 seconds left in the first period on a perfectly executed 3-on-2 with Chris Kreider and Stepan.
Stepan won the faceoff to the left of Lundqvist and Rangers defenseman Marc Staal rimmed the puck up the left-wing boards and out of the zone. It went right to Kreider, who had Stepan and Nash join him to create the 3-on-2 against Gorges and P.K. Subban.
Kreider gave it to Stepan in the middle and quickly got it back. He then thread a cross-ice pass to Nash, who blasted a one-timer from the right circle past Tokarski on the glove side. Tokarski even got a piece of the shot with his glove, but not enough to slow it down, let alone stop it.
St. Louis tacked onto the lead with a hard and well-placed one-timer from between the circles off a feed from Stepan.
McDonagh and Brad Richards worked the puck at the top of the zone before getting it to Stepan on the half-wall. He one-touched a pass to St. Louis in the middle, and he rifled a one-timer into the top right corner over Tokarski's glove.
Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk was in the penalty box for tripping Carl Hagelin, who appeared to actually fall over Galchenyuk's skate, which was still on the ice.
Lundqvist made 13 saves in the first period, including two in a row on Rene Bourque from the right post in the first minute of the game. The Rangers' goalie kept it up in the second period with a point-blank save on Lars Eller's one-timer from in-close at 1:49.
One of his best saves came with five seconds left in the second period, when Desharnais' shot from the right side hit off Hagelin in the slot. Lundqvist stuck his pad out like a flipper to keep it from going in the net.
Lundqvist started the third period with another sublime save, this time with his glove on Subban's shot through traffic at 43 seconds.
|Max Pacioretty (4) Deflected shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 MTL
|Ryan McDonagh (3) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 1 Tie
|Rick Nash (2) Snap shot - ASST: Chris Kreider (3), Derek Stepan (6)|
2 - 1 NYR
|PPG - Martin St. Louis (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Derek Stepan (7), Ryan McDonagh (6)|
3 - 1 NYR
|Nathan Beaulieu Roughing against Dominic Moore|
|Dominic Moore Unsportsmanlike conduct against Nathan Beaulieu|
|Carl Hagelin Tripping against Nathan Beaulieu|
|Thomas Vanek Slashing against Ryan McDonagh|
|Lars Eller Tripping against Dan Girardi|
|Dan Girardi Cross checking against Brian Gionta|
|P.K. Subban Roughing against Derek Stepan|
|Alex Galchenyuk Tripping against Carl Hagelin|
|Benoit Pouliot Tripping against P.K. Subban|
|Chris Kreider Holding against P.K. Subban|
|Benoit Pouliot Boarding against Alexei Emelin|
|SA: 41||TOI: 59:54|
|Saves: 40||EV: 29 - 30|
|PIM: 0||PP: 10 - 10|
|SV%: .976||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 30||TOI: 55:26|
|Saves: 27||EV: 25 - 27|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .900||SH: 1 - 1|