The New York Rangers dropped their second straight game this evening, and were defeated 3-0 by the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. An unfortunate bounce put the Rangers behind early tonight and despite a handful of high quality scoring chances, Carey Price was up to the task at the other end. Even though the Canadiens scored three goals, Henrik Lundqvist was equally as spectacular as Carey Price wise, and tonight was quite a goalie dual.
The parade to the penalty box started early in this game for both teams as the Rangers and Canadiens combined for six total penalties in the opening 10 minutes. Neither team was able to get much going with the man-advantage and we remained tied heading into the intermission. Henrik Lundqvist had to stand on his head a few times during the first period as the Canadiens had a few odd-man rushes coming into the offensive zone.
The Rangers had a few mishaps on the backend that resulted in those chances, but Lundqvist was there to put out the fire. Lundqvist has played exceptionally well to start the year and he was on full display once again at times during the first period.
The penalties continued in the second period as both teams traded power play opportunities once again, but nothing came of the chances. However, the Canadiens finally broke the scoreless drought at the 8:46 mark of the second and Thomas Fleischmann gave his team a 1-0 lead. The goal came off of a shot block by Ryan McDonagh that deflected to the side of the net, and Fleischmann knocked the loose puck over Lundqvist's right pad.
It was a tough goal to give up at that point in the game, but the Rangers responded fairly well following the goal. The Rangers best chance of the period came with a little under five minutes remaining in the period, when Kevin Hayes sent a beautiful centering pass over to Rick Nash. Nash ripped a quick one-timer from the right faceoff dot, but Carey Price came sprawling over and knocked the puck to the corner.
Much like last game against the Winnipeg Jets, the Rangers were getting their chances, but the opposing goaltender was just that much stronger. At this point, the Rangers were actually outplaying the Canadiens quite a bit during 5-on-5, but found themselves down 1-0 thanks to an unfortunate bounce. The Rangers continued to fight for the tying goal in the third period, but just couldn't find a way to sneak the puck behind Carey Price.
With about two minutes remaining in regulation, Dale Weise iced the game with his first goal of the season and beat Lundqvist through the legs. The Canadiens wound up adding one final goal with the goalie pulled as Tomas Plekanec banked the puck off of the glass and it slide into the yawning net.
The good news is that the Rangers played well tonight, they just couldn't find a way to solve Carey Price. The Rangers will be back in action this upcoming Sunday as they look to rebound against the New Jersey Devils.