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Recap: Rangers Defeat Habs, 4-1

Eh, good enough.

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Vitor Munhoz/NHLI via Getty Images

Jaroslav Halak got the start against his former team, and in the first period they Canadiens did not test him much. In fact, the Habs only mustered four shots on goal in the period. The issue is that the Rangers only managed six of their own, and only a late period partial breakaway by Julien Gauthier could be considered a quality chance. Both teams were pretty sleepy.

The second period started with similarly boring–err, low-event–hockey, but in the middle act, the Rangers took over. It started on a Canadiens powerplay. Halak made a big save on Evgenii Dadonov, and on the ensuing play, Chris Kreider picked off a weak backpass and he was off to the races. He blew past Arber Xhekaj and netted a short-side goal on the shorthanded breakaway.

hortly thereafter, Braden Schneider added to the Rangers lead with his fifth goal of the season. He took a high wrister that Jake Allen got his glove on, but he muffed it. No disrespect to Schneider, who got a lot on the shot, but that’s a goal Allen would like back.

About a minute later, Filip Chytil scored off a one-timer from Ryan Lindgren to put the Rangers up by three. It was another low-percentage shot, but that’s why you put pucks on net. The three goals were scored in just over five minutes, and they took that lead to the third period.

he scoring done, the Rangers coasted through the third period. For a majority of the time, their play felt like neither a press nor a turtle. They got a little sloppy as the period went on, conceding a few chances. With just over five minutes to play, Joel Armia ruined Halak’s shutout bid. The goal was Montreal’s first of the game, and Armia’s first of the season. Chytil later notched an empty net goal, leading to a 4-1 final.

This was a game the Rangers were expected to win, and they did enough to do so. They scored the cluster of goals, and otherwise just avoided shooting themselves in the foot. Halak’s play continues to trend toward adequate, which is plenty.

The Rangers will try to extend their win streak to four against the scuffling New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon.