After losing last night to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers blew a 3-2 lead in the third period, and were defeated 5-4 tonight by the Montreal Canadiens. But not only did they just blow a 3-2 lead, the Rangers gave up three goal in a matter of 62 seconds and let Montreal sprint right back into the game. Other then that dreaded 1:02, the Rangers actually played a relatively strong game tonight.
When you put four goals past Carey Price, you’d expect to come away with two points, but unfortunately the Rangers couldn’t get the job done. Unlike last night, the Rangers came out of the gates with some early pressure in the offensive zone and were able to generate some early momentum.
As a result, the Rangers were given a power play a little past the halfway mark, and they converted almost immediately. Following the faceoff win, Ryan McDonagh quickly dished the puck over to Brandon Pirri stationed in the faceoff circle, and Pirri unleashed a booming slapshot.
Carey Price was unable to react to the quick shot, and Pirri wired the puck over Price’s left shoulder to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. That lead would remain intact for the remainder of the period, until the Canadiens eventually responded early on in the second period.
Mark Barberio’s point long point shot wound up being tipped in front by Alex Galchenyuk, and slipped by Lundqvist’s shoulder. Lundqvist wound up finishing the remainder of the game after Antti Raanta’s night was cut short due to a lower-body injury. About three minutes after the Canadiens tied the game, Rick Nash picked up his 14th goal of the season after finishing off a rebound in the high slot.
Both teams continued to trade goals during the second period as Brian Flynn tied the game at two, followed by a shorthanded goal coming from J.T. Miller a few minutes later. Heading into the third period, the Rangers had played a strong game up until this point, and looked to close it out with one final push. Unfortunately, that was exactly the opposite of what happened.
Within a matter of 1:02, the Canadiens had not only erased the Rangers’ 3-2 lead, but they vaulted into the lead after scoring three straight goals. It obviously wasn’t Lundqvist’s finest hour, but at the same time, it’s hardly his fault with the way the Rangers played in front of him. The first goal was simply unavoidable as it came off of a massive screen, while the second one was just a horrible read by Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.
And finally, the third one came as a result of Nick Holden being beat to the outside, and the Rangers failing to pick up the players driving the crease. Following the massive collapse, the Rangers were able to get a goal back on the board with a nifty deflection goal coming from Derek Stepan at the 14:53 mark.
The Rangers were able to get a few more strong looks late in the game with the goaltender pulled, but unfortunately, Carey Price held down the fort. This now marks the Rangers second straight loss in as many days, as they look to pick up their first win in the 2017 calendar year. They will have another opportunity to do so on Tuesday night, as they welcome the Dallas Stars into Madison Square Garden.