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Lundqvist Earns Shutout As Rangers Take 1-0 Series Lead

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the odds being stacked against them, the New York Rangers ignored the outside noise and picked up a crucial win in Game One. All eyes were on Henrik Lundqvist entering tonight’s contest, and boy did he ever deliver. He not only kept the Rangers in the game when the Canadiens pressured, but he reeled in a massive shutout to start the playoffs on a high note.

A lot of credit also goes to the Rangers defensemen tonight, particularly Brendan Smith, Brady Skjei, and Ryan McDonagh who carried a majority of the play on the backend. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers as a whole did a great job of letting Lundqvist see the puck tonight, and didn’t restrict his vision with unnecessary shot blocks.

The playoffs are a completely different animal compared to regular season, which paves the way for some rather unexpected heroes. Tonight for the Rangers, that unexpected hero was Tanner Glass, who opened the scoring for the Rangers nearing the midway mark of the first period. Following a scramble off of an offensive faceoff, Glass quickly spun around and tossed a backhand shot toward Carey Price.

The shot completely surprised Price and the puck beat him over the shoulder to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead in Game One. Glass’ goal would remain the only goal in this game, until late in the third period when the Rangers iced the game with the empty net goal. Michael Grabner picked up the Rangers’ second goal of the game with a little over a minute remaining, and secured the Game One victory for the Rangers.

With tonight’s win, the pressure completely shifts to Montreal as they look to avoid the 2-0 deficit with Friday’s game looming. If the Rangers can return to New York with two games in their back pocket, that will set the stage for two massive games at Madison Square Garden.