Rangers Win Game Two in Montreal
The New York Rangers continued their new found hot streak at the Bell Centre Monday with a second consecutive win over the Montreal Canadiens. This was the first time in these playoffs the Rangers won a game two in a series, so they head back to Madison Square Garden for game three with a two game lead in the best of seven series.
For six minutes a victory didn’t seem possible for the team in white, as Montreal skated harder, shot puck after puck on net, and forced Rangers’ turnovers. Finally Montreal got their break on another fluky goal that came after Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist went to poke check the puck at the side of the net and it bounced off of Max Pacioretty and into the back of the net. The Bell Centre erupted, and it seemed as if it would be one of those games in which the Canadiens wouldn’t be denied. However, only 17 seconds later, Ryan McDonagh shot a puck that bounced off of a Canadiens’ defenseman and into the net, both leveling the game and quieting the crowd. With just a little over a minute left in the first period, Rick Nash made it 2-1 for the Rangers. That’s two goals in two games for the forward who hadn’t scored since before the playoffs started.
In the second period each team had its share of power play time (two for Montreal and two for New York), but it was the Rangers alone that would have their efforts appear on the scoreboard. Martin St. Louis found himself alone in the high slot and from almost one knee put the puck past rookie Canadiens’ goalie Dustin Tokarski, extending the Rangers lead to 3-1. It was the last goal that would be scored in the game, but not for any lack of determination from either side.
In the third period there were 29 total shots from both sides — the Rangers had 10 and the Canadiens had a whopping 19. Henrik Lundqvist turned away every single one of those 19 shots, which included two minutes and 40 seconds of power play time and almost five minutes of a six man Canadiens’ onslaught. No matter what they threw at him, Lundqvist didn’t break. When it was all said and done, Lundqvist turned aside 40 shots from Montreal and was awarded the second star of the night.
Brian Boyle may not have been selected among the stars of game two, but if you were watching the game (or at least listening to Doc Emerick on NBCSN) then you know how important Boyle was to his team’s success on Monday. Boyle led the Rangers centers with a 73% faceoff win total; he had three shot blocks, four hits, and had four minutes of penalty kill time. That type of performance won’t always make you a flashy player but it’s the type of production you need to win in the playoffs, especially on the road.
The Rangers will look to continue their hot streak in game three when they return to Madison Square Garden on Thursday at 8:00 PM EST on NBCSN.