Carey Price, Canadiens beat Rangers in Game 3

However counterproductive the Rangers' gameplan has been in the series so far, the bigger problem in Game 3 was that they came out with an inexcusably lethargic and listless effort on home ice.

Julien's Montreal Canadiens lead the New York Rangers 2-1 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final following a dominant 3-1 win in Game 3 Sunday night.

Blues 3, Wild 1 At St. Louis, Jaden Schwartz scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Jake Allen made 40 saves to lead St. Louis to a win over Minnesota and a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series. It was Radulov's first career overtime goal in the postseason and his first career three-point playoff game. Outside of that one blemish, it was a suffocating performance from the Canadiens. "You can't afford any weak links, and we didn't have any tonight".

"He (Lundqvist) played well, for sure", said Weber. "We weren't hungry enough, we got outworked in a lot of areas". "It's a pretty classic story of playoff hockey". How Price, and by extension the Canadiens' defense, weathers that storm in the first period could be an indicator of how this game goes. Madison Square Garden hasn't been kind to the Rangers recently, and the Rangers didn't get a boost in the first period from being at home. "He made a lot of the first saves and their team did a good job clearing out the second opportunities".

The Canadiens' defensive structure in the neutral and defensive zones eliminated New York's greatest asset - its collective team speed. "We need more. It's as simple as that".

Montreal fired 31 shots on New York's Henrik Lundqvist, who recorded his 10th career playoff shutout - a record high amongst active National Hockey League goaltenders. A 3-2 shootout loss to the Canadiens on February 21 started an 0-5-3 slump that lasted until March 31.

Defenseman Shea Weber made it 2-0 at 7:42 of the third period with Mats Zuccarello in the penalty box serving a four-minute penalty for high sticking. Tomas Plekanec beat Derek Stepan on a draw in the Rangers' zone and Brendan Gallagher, who continues to pester the Rangers with his play and pushing, fed an open Artturi Lehkonen in the slot for a one-timer at 17:37. Nikita Nesterov found himself glued to the bench after a mistake that led to Michael Grabner's breakaway goal in the first period and has been shaky in both games. Michael Grabner, Mats Zuccarello, and Rick Nash scored for NY. "But it's the playoffs". "You've got to make plays".

"I thought it was a real good road game", Julien said. If it's not going well, we really need to simplify here, make one or two passes and look to get it to the net.

Notes: New York has won the last two playoff matchups against Montreal (2014 and 1996). … The Rangers and Canadiens have now met 16 times in the playoffs. … Montreal served up 53 hits to New York's 45.

So going into Game 4 on Tuesday night at the Garden, the hope is that the man-advantage can start making quicker decisions. So we're aware of that. "We were just practising on it if it's going to happen".

Rob Vollman: Price might have two wins to Lundqvist's one, but their save percentages are nearly dead even, .944 to.941 respectively. He is back in Montreal and considered day-to-day.

  • Leroy Wright