Monday, 29 May, 2017

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: Rangers take 2-1 series lead

Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Canadiens tie series with dramatic OT win over Rangers WATCH: Rangers goalie Lundqvist chases Canadiens' Pacioretty away from net to protect 1-goal lead
Kristopher Love | 20 April, 2017, 07:36

And now their series against Montreal is even.

The New York Rangers evened the series with a 2-1 Game 4 win Tuesday night over the Montreal Canadiens.

"We're playing a very good team", Pacioretty said.

Nash demanded the puck on his stick and played straight-line hockey all night.

"They're playing very well defensively", said NY coach Alain Vigneault, who added that the Rangers' fourth line of Tanner Glass, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg has been his best forward combination.

"We needed this for so many reasons", Lundqvist said.

"We needed this win for the series but also moving forward".

And when Montreal's defense has faltered, Carey Price has been there to pick up the pieces, allowing one goal on 21 shots.

"We have to at least find a way to get momentum off the power play instead of giving them momentum...if we can find ways to stay out of the box and limit their chances (that's good), but it's just executing, which is one of our main focuses for (Game 4) Tuesday". "You got to make your passes - can't be at guys' feet, can't be behind guys". While the scoresheet reflects a Rangers' 2-0 win in Game 1, the Rangers only got one goal past Carey Price.

Montreal would tie the game before the end of the first.

"We all make mistakes". The goal was waived off and the Rangers power play was over as Nash was whistled for goaltender interference.

Lundqvist kept the game scoreless in the first period, as he made several point-blank stops among his 10 saves during the opening 20 minutes while Price only had to make six saves.

A fortunate bounce led to Fast's goal at 11:39 of the first period. Over the first four games, the Rangers have 41 second period scoring chances (18 high danger).

"I told him first playoff game", said Vigneault of a pre-game conversation with Buchnevich.

"The second period, I think we had a poor outing". "In the second and third period we tried, but we weren't able to find the back of the net". The Rangers are chasing so far behind Montreal in that loop that they're about to be lapped.

NY got the victor in the second when Rick Nash's backhand in tight beat Montreal goaltender Carey Price at 4:28. A clearing attempt was thwarted by Ryan McDonagh who promptly sent Nash in all alone on Price. "I was trying to go to the net all night and trying to cause some chaos", Nash said.

In fact, the Canadiens had just two shots through the first 17 minutes of the period before peeling off four in the final three.

It looks like Nick Holden is returning to the lineup tonight. Tanner Glass, who scored in Game 1, and Kevin Klein were among the scratches. He had difficulty explaining how he scored the goal.

Blue Jackets 5, Penguins 4 • Markus Nutivaara, William Karlsson and Boone Jenner each had a goal and an assist and host Columbus held on to beat Pittsburgh, avoiding a sweep in the series. By tying Skjei up behind the net, Paul Byron was able to recover the puck and passed it to Plekanec, who then set Gallagher up for a shot on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers utilized their speed and forecheck throughout the game, something several players said was lacking in Sunday's 3-1 loss in Game 3.

Halfway through the game the Jackets were up 3-0, but by the end of the second period they were holding on to a 3-2 lead and it felt like this game might have the same fate as the others. Pittsburgh got the late goal but ran out of time.

There had been more energy in the Garden when the game started compared to Sunday night's Game 3.

Hornqvist struck for Pittsburgh during a power play 6:43 in the second. They're a good team; they're a fast team; they create a lot.