At the beginning of our open game thread, our own "XLII" said he would be disappointed if the Rangers didn't hang 5 on Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Turns out the Rangers would need every one of those five goals to win the game.
After the Rangers first ten games were decided in sixty minutes, for the first time this season, it took overtime to decide a contest, but unfortunately the extra minutes weren't enough to stop the Rangers winless streak, which is now at 3 after a 5-4 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Mike Cammalleri notched a hat trick, including the game-winner in the extra frame, to send the Rangers back to NY for their game with Phoenix on Monday night now having lost three in a row after a seven game winning streak.
The Canadiens opened the scoring on a goal by Cammalleri, but the Rangers came storming back with three goals in the first period. The first was by Artem Anisimov, a shot from an impossible angle that went top shelf on Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Ales Kotalik put the Rangers ahead five minutes later, and then Matt Gilroy launched a rocket from the point that Halak never saw late in the first to send the teams to the locker room with the Rangers ahead 3-1
After a strong second period against NJ the other night, the Rangers reverted to their previous trend of playing bad hockey in the middle frame. Matt D'Agostini cut the Habs deficit to one early in the second, but Marian Gaborik continued his torrid scoring pace with a goal at the 11:56 mark to put the Rangers back up by two. Gaborik now has eight goals in eleven games.
After that, the penalty bug did the Rangers in again. With the Habs on a 5-on-3 power play, Marc-Andre Bergeron brought the Canadiens back to within one, and a second goal from Cammalleri tied the game at 4.
The Rangers have had problems with their goaltender getting run by opposing teams so far this season, but this time they suffered a real scare from one of their own players. D'Agostini's goal came after a turnover by Brandon Dubinsky, and with Dubi giving chase, he went down to the ice and plowed into Henrik Lundqvist as the puck went in the net. Lundqvist was down on the ice for several minutes, but stayed in the game.
The Rangers top defensive line of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi did not play well. Girardi continued to struggle with turnovers, and Staal just does not look comfortable right now. Brandon Dubinsky and Christopher Higgins were both benched for most of the third period tonight, spoiling Higgins' return to Montreal, where he was a number one draft pick and played for five seasons.
The teams went end to end for most of the third period, plenty of scoring chances for both teams, but neither could break the tie before the end of regulation.