National Hockey League roundup: Rangers top Canadiens, even series at two apiece


Despite those chances, Lundqvist's stellar play continued in Game 4, as he finished with 23 saves on the night.

"(Nash) played huge for us tonight, right off the start", alternate captain Dan Girardi added. However, turnovers continued to haunt the Canadiens, the first of which was another turnover by the normally reliable Benn when he fanned on a point shot that sent the Rangers the other way on a three on one break that Price and some sloppy passing by NY nullified. But it was only a difference maker because the rest of his teammates followed suit with passionate play of their own. Fast and Nash's goals were only New York's fifth and sixth in the Rangers' last seven playoff games at Madison Square Garden.

Through much of the first two games and essentially all of Game 3, Montreal forced NY into neutral zone dumps, most of which were cleared easily.

Jesper Fast also scored for the Rangers, who ended a six-game home losing streak that dated to the 2015 postseason. Pacioretty posted two shots on goal, two hits and was minus-1 in Game 4 on Tuesday night. There's no reason to think the Rangers, if they can maintain this level of intensity and with Lundqvist strong, can't win two of the next three, if necessary.

"The guys were playing on their toes", Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "We let it all go and put it behind us, and I thought we had a pretty good performance tonight". Goaltender Carey Price had just left the ice for an extra skater, and there was Shea Weber at the blue line, loading the cannon for a one-timer from such a great distance that Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would have plenty of time to react to it. Vigneault rejigged his top line, putting Kevin Hayes between J.T. Miller and Mats Zuccarello and he replaced Tanner Glass with Pavel Buchnevich, who made his National Hockey League playoff debut. "The other night was a frustrating one". Montreal had some good chances in the first, but after that we controlled the game.

Weber's power-play goal at 7:42 of the second period gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead.

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Lundqvist carried a.941 save percentage and a 2.16 GAA, both superb numbers, into Game 4. Julien would not disclose his lineup Saturday, but Galchenyuk, who assisted on the tying goal at the end of regulation, could find himself on the third line or playing top-six minutes in Game 3.

"I can say to that this team right here now defensively are doing a real good job and we need to find an answer to be able to use our skill a little bit more", he said.

Radulov put the game away with 4:25 remaining with a brilliant individual effort.

"In 2017 in the playoffs we've had one loss (at home)", Vigneault said. "Everyone in that room, to a man, knows their game can be better and needs to be better". At the end of the first frame, shot attempts were in 19-12 in favour of the Rangers, but Montreal led in shots (10-9), scoring chances (9-5), and high danger scoring chances (5-0).

Too much, at the start, still was coming from the outside but the Rangers, slowly but surely, drew their game closer to Price's crease. It was evident the moment he scratched rookie winger Pavel Buchnevich, a regular occupant of the team's top-nine during that early success, who never found his way back into a regular role after early-season injuries. Alex Radulov set the play in motion when he separated Brady Skjei from the puck at the blue line and passed ahead to Mitchell, who had a 2-on-1 break with Weber.