Coming off of a close game against the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in regulation time. The Canadiens scored three unanswered goals across the second and third periods, including a hat trick from Joel Armia. Brendan Lemieux brought the Rangers back within a goal late in the third period, but that would be as close as the Rangers would come.
Vladislav Namestnikov (9) - Brady Skjei (12) & Kevin Shattenkirk (20) - 4:41 1st Period
Unlike the previous game, the Rangers were ready to go from the opening faceoff and were rewarded with an early goal. Vladislav Namestnikov was able to get a piece of Brady Skjei’s point shot, and deflected it back on Carey Price. That goal gave Namestnikov his fourth goal in five games, and his ninth on the season.
Brendan Gallagher (28) - Tomas Tatar (26) & Jordie Benn (14) - 7:27 2nd Period
After a pretty dominating first period by New York, the Canadiens came storming back in the second period. Brendan Gallagher was able to pick up his 28th goal of the season on a pretty deflection at the top of the crease. Just prior to the goal, Brady Skjei made a bad read as the puck bounced off of the end boards, and Tomas Tatar found Gallagher cutting to the net.
Joel Armia (8) - Christian Folin (4) & Victor Mete (9) - 14:38 2nd Period
Nearly seven minutes later, the Canadiens took their first and only lead of the game at the 14:38 mark. Joel Armia picked his first of three goals on the night after another fortunate bounce ended up in the back of the Rangers net. Another carom off of the glass sent the puck flying back out in front of the net, and Armia jumped on the loose puck in the high slot. Henrik Lundqvist attempted to make a play on the puck, but wasn’t able to get back to his net in time.
Joel Armia (9) - Jesperi Kotkaniemi (21) & Brett Kulak (9) - 4:29 3rd Period
Early in the third period, Joel Armia continued his dominance as he picked up his second goal of the evening with a strong individual effort. He was able to fight off of the backcheck from Brady Skjei, and snapped a quick shot past Henrik Lundqvist on the short side. It was also an unfortunate break for the Rangers, as Carey Price came up with a huge save on Ryan Strome at the other end a few seconds earlier.
Brendan Lemieux (10) - Jesper Fast (12) & Brady Skjei (13) - 17:28 3rd Period
After an impressive start to his Rangers career, Brendan Lemieux finally picked up his first goal in a blue sweater. As expected, it came off of net front scramble after the puck slipped off of Jesper Fast’s stick. Lemieux was able to quickly get his stick on the puck and shoveled home the loose puck to make it a one-goal game.
Joel Armia (10) - Paul Byron (13) & Nate Thompson (3) - 19:23 3rd Period
Joel Armia capped off his hat trick late in the third period, as the Rangers elected to pull Henrik Lundqvist. The puck came out of the zone after a misread by Pavel Buchnevich, and Paul Byron setup his teammate for the hat trick.
Following another rough loss at home, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to action on Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals.