Rangers win streak snapped in Montreal; Duclair tallies another point
Matt Steccato and Bobby Bevilacqua
EDITOR’S NOTE: A big thank you for my friend Matt who wrote a lot of the article, because I had to work for most of the game.
Heading into the Bell Centre, the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens were both riding 3 game win streaks, and for the Rangers, it came to an end.
After going through a 6-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the two teams are starting to develop a heated rivalry, which certainly came out in tonight’s game.
Following the tragedy that occurred in Ottawa a few days ago, the Habs were looking to help distract their country and come together to watch the sport they love.
The Canadiens came away with a 3-1 victory, thanks to goaltender Carey Price, who was stellar in tonight’s effort. Price is now 8-1-1 in his career against the Rangers.
Carl Hagelin scored the lone goal for the Rangers off of a rebound, with assists going to Dan Girardi and Anthony Duclair.
The Rangers started off the game on their heels as Montreal was looking to be the first on the board. As the period progressed, the Habs continued to finish their checks and ended up getting too aggressive and giving a powerplay opportunity to the Rangers.
The powerplay was once again lackluster and an ill-advised pinch by newly anointed captain Ryan McDonagh lead to a 2 on 0 breakaway for Max Pacioretty and the eventual goal-scorer Tomas Plekanec. It was a poor decision by McDonagh and Lundqvist had absolutely no chance.
Later in the period, the Rangers managed to tie up the game as Carl Hagelin potted a rebound opportunity for his second of the year off a shot from Dan Girardi and some crease work by Montreal-native Anthony Duclair.
Duclair’s return to the lineup for tonight’s game happened to very good timing for him as he had a chance to play for the home arena of his childhood team. This game was actually one of the Duke’s better games as he tallied another assist in the early season.
Coming into the game, some believe that Chris Kreider would have a target on his back, especially after the incidents in last season’s playoffs. Kreider was tripped on a breakaway and collided with Carey Price, which sidelined him for the remainder of Montreal’s playoffs.
Kreider was obviously played hard, but so was everyone else on the ice. It was nice to see the Canadiens be professional and put last year’s unfortunate events behind them.
As the period winded down, one of the more noticeable stats that ended up staying so was the Rangers only winning 44% of the faceoffs by the time the final buzzer went off, something that has plagued the team all season.
As the second period came around, the high intensity continued and Lundqvist started to get tested more and more.
The defense was solid tonight, but Matt Hunwick stood out against Montreal. Logging almost 16 minutes on ice, Hunwick got the job done with no errors and further solidified Alain Vigneault’s decision with him over Michael Kostka.
In the first half of the second period, former Rangers favorite and enforcer ended up getting physical with Kevin Klein following a late hit from Prust on Zuccarello. Kevin Klein came over in support of his teammate and dropped the gloves with Prust, which mostly went in Klein’s favor.
Fight aside, the period continued to go Montreal’s way with them getting a lead with a goal by Lars Eller. The goal was started by a smart play from P.K. Subban by getting a shot on goal and having the eventual goal scorer Eller and Dale Weise chip at the overpowered Lundqvist.
Fight aside, the period continued to go Montreal’s way, as they gained the lead on a goal halfway through the period from Lars Eller. It was Eller’s first of the year.
The play was started on a smart decision by P.K. Subban to fire a shot on net, which surprised Lundqvist. The puck bounced in front of him, and following a scramble, Eller came away with the puck and got it past Henrik.
On the opposite side of the rink, Carey Price was having quite a game, most notably him making a well-timed save on a Brassard wrist shot that he ended up creating space for himself. Brassard had a 2 one 1 opportunity and after a nice toe-drag move, was stopped by Price, which came when the game was tied at 1. Montreal’s goal came minutes later.
The rest of the period was physical with even chances, and the period came to an end with Montreal leading by one.
In the third, AV decided to switch up the lines to try to even out the offense. Kevin Hayes and Rick Nash both played less than 10 minutes in the first two periods, and the top line was really quiet throughout the first 40 minutes.
Both Girardi and Hunwick were very noticeable again, with both of them making some nice defensive plays to keep the game close.
Duclair was noticeable again this period, making a centering pass that almost led to a goal. Nash was also better this period, having a tip in front stopped by a well-positioned Carey Price.
Montreal continued pressuring the Rangers, and came close, hitting the post on a shot from the point and then getting stopped by Lundqvist’s pad.
However, the Habs would manage to score about 6 and a half minutes into the third. Lundqvist topped a shot from Pacioretty, and it trickled to the boards. Dale Weise got to the puck and made a great back-handed pass right to Pacioretty for a tap in.
The Rangers’ offense woke up in the last ten minutes, but they could not get it past the sensational Price. They also could not capitalize on a lot of the icings that the Canadiens had, despite coming close to scoring on a 2 on 1 and on a Girardi chance late.
Sometimes, you just have to give it up to the other team. Carey Price was phenomenal, making 34 saves on 35 shots. The Canadiens were strong on both sides of the puck as well.
Lundqvist was strong again tonight, making 27 saves and keeping the Rangers in the game for as long as he could.
Matt Hunwick seems to get better every game he plays in. He continues to make big plays and has been really solid alongside John Moore.
The Brassard line looked really, really strong tonight. It seems that they may have found a line combination that works, with Brassard centering Zuccarello and St. Louis. The line almost scored a few times, and it also did not help that they ran into a hot goalie tonight.
Duclair also played pretty well, tallying an assist as well as 3 shots on goal and a plus-one rating. Duclair now has 4 assists and a plus-five rating in 6 games he has played this year. Duclair will develop his scoring touch the more he plays, so he just needs to keep playing more minutes.
The Rangers (4-4-0) will look to start another win streak on Monday as they return to the Garden to take on the Minnesota Wild for the start of a 4 game homestand.
Posted on October 26, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Chris Mueller, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Henrik Lundqvist, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, Michael Kostka, Montreal Canadiens, MSG, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, overtime winner, Rangers Nation, Rangers Season Opener, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan Malone, Ryan McDonagh, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.