The Rangers played a fierce third period where they forechecked, swarmed the net, and did all the things they need to do to win, and outscored the Canadiens 1-0.
Unfortunately, in those pesky first two periods the Rangers played some of their worst hockey of the season, allowed the Canadiens three goals in a three minute span in the first, and when it was all over the Habs had their second one-goal win in five days over the Rangers , this time 3-2 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Really the Blueshirts had little business being in this game in the third, only the superb goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist managed to keep them in it. I said earlier that it seems like the key to winning in Montreal is making it through the first ten minutes, and the Rangers did survive the early Canadiens rush, they got a goal from Brian Boyle, and a little redemption for Brandon Dubinsky when he slashed P.K. Subban and Subban got the penalty for retaliaiting. It was pretty much the last good moment for Dubinsky, who played what had to be his worst game of the season. What's worse is, he had plenty of company.
Dubinsky kept going after Subban, took another penalty, and this time it was the Habs taking advantage with Roman Hamrlik tying the game with a power play goal.
The Rangers found themselves shorthanded again just a minute later, and with Mike Sauer in the box, Thomas Plekanic took a nice feed from Subban and put it past Lundqvist to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead. The Canadiens struck again a minute later when Andrei Kostitsyn scored to put the Habs up by two.
Lundqvist blew his cork late in the second when Max Pacioretty drove into him and knocked him down. Lundqvist jumped Pacioretty and pounded on him like Ralphie pounded on Scott Farcus in "A Christmas Story".
Mats Zuccarello brought the Rangers back to within one with a goal in the third on a pass from Derek Stepan. The Rangers had numerous chances to tie it, but couldn't connect.
We've seen the Rangers get away with not playing sixty minutes of hockey a few times this season, tonight it bit them in the rear.
- I've laid off Marian Gaborik for the most part, but they needed him tonight, badly, and he was nowhere to be found.
- Vojtek Volski also came dressed as an empty sweater tonight.
- The Rangers let P.K. Subban "Avery" them tonight. Hopefully this young team can learn from it. Subban completely took Dubinsky off his game, and the Rangers were clearly rattled early in the game.
- Not going to get on Eminger, because he has been pretty good all year, I'll just call it a bad night for him.
- Rangers need to have a very short-term memory with this one, and remember how they played against Vancouver. The effort they put forth against Montreal will not cut it against the Flyers tomorrow night.
- So much for the power play resurgence, it was just another awful part of the Rangers game tonight.