Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Rangers found out once again
what a difference Carey Price can make.
In the first meeting between Montreal and the Rangers since last year’s
Eastern Conference finals, Price turned away 34-of-35 shots in a stellar
effort that carried the red-hot Canadiens to a 3-1 victory at Bell Centre.
Price sustained a knee injury in Game 1 of the 2014 East finals and missed the
remainder of the series, a contributing factor to the Rangers’ prevailing in
six games. The standout goaltender was healthy and in top form on Saturday,
however, yielding just a first-period goal to Carl Hagelin to help Montreal
move to 7-1-0 on the young season.
Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist in the win, which concluded a perfect
four-game homestand for the Habs. Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller also scored
while Dale Weise chipped in a pair of assists.
The Rangers had a three-game win streak snapped as Henrik Lunqvist couldn’t
match Price’s performance, finshing with 26 saves.
After both teams lit the lamp once during an evenly played opening period,
Price came up with 13 saves in the second and Eller broke the tie with a
second-effort score with 8:14 remaining in the frame.
P.K. Subban fired a drive that was blocked in front of the New York net and
Lundqvist denied Weise in close on the rebound, but the Rangers were unable to
clear the puck and Eller jammed it home for his first goal of the season.
Price was spotless once again during a 13-save third that saw Montreal extend
the margin courtesy of Pacioretty, who slipped a shot past Lundqvist 6:36 into
the period after taking in a behind-the-net backhand feed from Wiese.
Plekanec opened the scoring with a shorthanded tally with just over 12 minutes
elapsed in the contest, forcing a turnover in the Montreal zone that created a
2-on-none breakout with Pacioretty against a defenseless Lundqvist.
Hagelin drew the Rangers even with 2:53 to go in the first, skating uncovered
into the slot to put in the carom of Dan Girardi’s initial attempt that Price
got a piece of.
Prior to the start of the contest, the Canadiens teamed with the Senators and
Maple Leafs, who were also at home on Saturday night — to stage a coordinated
pregame ceremony honoring the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the
tragic events in Ottawa earlier this week … The Rangers fell to 1-8-2 in
their last 11 regular-season visits to Montreal and have now dropped six of
their last seven non-playoff meetings with the Habs overall … New York
forward Rick Nash, whose eight goals is tied for second in the league this
season, was held to one shot.