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New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist Shine in Game 1 vs Montreal Canadiens

16 Avril 2017

Will the Montreal Canadiens fall behind two games at home when they host the New York Rangers tonight at 7PM ET in Game 2 of the series?

OTTAWA, Ontario - Brad Marchand broke a tie with 2:33 left and Boston held on to beat Ottawa in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. There's a couple of guys who would be the first to tell you, 'I need to be better, ' and we all know that. Blues goalie Jake Allen was a revelation, turning aside 51 and being the first star in a 2-1 OT win. 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. That said, NY gets the edge because the Blueshirts are tied for fourth in the league with nine short-handed goals.

The Henrik Lundqvist reaction save.

It's well chronicled the struggles Lundqvist has against the Canadiens, and, in particular at the Bell Centre.

Lundqvist has been subject to some inconsistent play this season but lately, he's been looking to the playoffs with a better mindset and has been putting forward better play.

Jake Allen steals Game One for the Blues; Lundqvist, Vlasic, Kessel and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

As we expected, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will be fighting for goal scraps all series.

Perhaps even more impressive was his work in the second period. It's the first time the Habs and Blueshirts have met in the postseason since NY beat Montreal in six games in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals.

The second season in finally here!

There were usually some excellent, exciting stretches of hockey each night; but those were offset by prolonged dips in play, structural breakdowns, and a lacking compete level. Rangers take Game 2.

- The playoffs start in Ottawa and Montreal on Wednesday with the Canadiens back in the playoffs against the Rangers and the Senators hosting the Bruins. Entertaining for the fans.

There's some irony in that the Habs may have actually done better if this game was in NY. It was a war out there.

Lundqvist also knows that his Stanley Cup window is closing with the team, which will only make his play in the playoffs this season that much stronger. The Rangers were fourth in the National Hockey League in scoring at 3.1 goals per game. That would be bad form, and a awful waste of a special moment. Beating the Canadiens isn't impossible but, like against any team in the playoffs, the Rangers need to bring their A-game. Buchnevich and fellow Game 1 healthy scratches Matt Puempel and Brandon Pirri each have offensive track records that easily trump Glass, but Vigneault went with his gut and it paid off.

Lundqvist's 31 saves were equally important in the bargain, but Tanner Glass's goal in the first and Michael Grabner's bookend goal in the third were key to a successful start for NY. Montreal pulled Price late in the third, but Michael Grabner settled the issue with an empty-net goal with 1:10 left.

The Original Six opponents met in the Eastern Conference Final in the spring of 2014, a series that saw the Canadiens lose goaltender Carey Price in Game 1 in a collision with Rangers winger Chris Kreider. Salas, who played for the the last two Solheim Cups, fired a career-low 62 in the final round of the 2013 Lotte, then lost a playoff with Suzann Pettersen.

But heading into the post-season, there is injury concern in Toronto. That circumstance makes NY a unsafe on-paper team heading into the playoffs, even as what will be a low seed.

Glass played eight minutes.

But for all his talent, the third overall pick from the 2012 draft has had a hard time convincing previous Habs coach Michel Therrien and then Julien, who took over on February 14, that he is a legitimate top-line centre. They have to find a way to make Price uncomfortable back there. "It's always hard to move to a different team and learn systems and players' tendencies".

In the first period on Wednesday the Canadiens came out hard and supported one another on the fore check, sending two forwards in to retrieve the puck. That's just the way it is.

New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist Shine in Game 1 vs Montreal Canadiens