HW 3 Stars: Habs-Rangers Series Deadlocked after Rangers Game 4 Win
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 21:56
It's the reason why we're in this position.
The Rangers have their backs against the wall heading into this one as they know they are in deep trouble if they can't get a victory here and would have to win three in a row including two in Montreal. But it was only a difference maker because the rest of his teammates followed suit with passionate play of their own. Forcing them to be on their heels and play most of the night without the puck are certainly ways to accomplish that.
The Canadiens have just a one-game advantage over the Rangers in this first round, but Montreal has clearly shown they've been better at adapting than NY.
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, this game is even, as both the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are each getting odds of -110 to win.
Montreal went into Madison Square Garden in Game 3 and won 3-1, behind the strong play of Alexander Radulov.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault gave Montreal credit for a well-structured defensive game, but expressed disappointment in his top players.
That's a whole lot of guys on the ice. We had to chip pucks out. It starts with that. Montreal looked bad in game one but they have rebounded with back to back victories and have shut down the Rangers offense since that time and while they haven't been lighting the lamp at a head turning pace they are doing enough to give Carey Price some breathing room and that is unsafe territory for the Rangers. Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello has been distracted by a number of Canadiens, including Ott and Brendan Gallagher. Ryan McDonagh created the entire goal with a ridiculous feed from the blue line, and caught Nash in stride for the easy tap in. "(Radulov) made a good play at the blue line as we got in the zone. "The other night was a frustrating one".
The next game, he scored one goal, had three shots on goal, five hits, and six penalty minutes.
He finished with 23 saves while only allowing one goal when the Canadiens had a 2-on-1 advantage. The Swedish goalie has posted a.941 save percentage in the series.
The Rangers looked like a completely different team than the one that blew a two-goal lead in Game 2 and were outclassed throughout Game 3.
In Game 1 on Wednesday, the Habs, finishing check after check to the delight of the crowd, dominated the first period, firing 16 shots on Lundqvist.
"There were some chances to score goals", said captain Max Pacioretty, who had five shots on target.
"I thought Alex had a real good game", Julien said to Sportsnet.
This is, without question, the biggest game of the season for the Rangers.
"We can't afford any weak links and we didn't have any tonight". "Everyone in that room, to a man, knows their game can be better and needs to be better".
"It's important we start with ourselves and not look at what they are doing", Lundqvist said after the Rangers' sixth straight home loss in the postseason.
The puck bounced off his skate and kicked right to Jesper Fast, who beat Price with a backhand between the legs to make it 1-0 at 11:39 of the first period.
He kept the Rangers from falling behind early on as he stopped Andrew Shaw on a breakaway midway through the first period. Aided by a string of turnovers and a persistent failure to slow New York's forwards down in the neutral zone, the Rangers had a material territorial edge for nearly the entire period.