The Montreal Canadiens did not start their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on a high note, as they were blanked 2-0 by the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre on Wednesday.
After the Canadiens took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, the Rangers got goals from Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello within a span of five minutes to take a 3-2 lead that almost held for the rest of the game. "They did a good job of keeping pucks in tonight and that's where we got hurt".
"I think more importantly we're excited to feel the energy of our home crowd, the way Montreal fed off their home crowd [Friday] night". It's also fair to say that the Rangers outplayed the Canadiens in the first two games and could easily be up 2-0 in the series. Nash at times felt the Rangers tried to play too cute in front of their home fans, getting away from the simpler, straight-line game that helped them lead the National Hockey League in road wins this season with 27.
Brendan Gallagher - The hard-driving Montreal winger shot just 5.3% during the regular season and he carried his snakebit ways into the playoffs. "We didn't do that for 82 games. That's where they created their second and third chances". Plekanec had a 63 per cent win rate on faceoffs in the game. "But we're digging in on it, and so far we've been good at it". Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 39 saves, once again filling in for the injured Matt Murray, and received plenty of help.
Paul Byron and Jeff Petry (PEE'-tree) also scored for the Canadiens, who fired 58 shots on Henrik Lundqvist. The veteran netminder is off to a tremendous start to the postseason, and he's worth a long look in daily contests with the Blueshirts headed back home to Madison Square Garden for Game 3.
After the shock and having emptied the tank defending, there was little left to generate enough chances against Price in overtime: eight shots on goal for the Rangers as opposed to 13 for the Habs.
The Rangers probably could have iced to puck to get a stoppage so Lundqvist could get a new stick, but they elected to keep the play going.
"It's never easy to sleep after an overtime loss, but it's a playoff series", center Derek Stepan said in Montreal on Saturday, as the team stayed over Friday night then returned to NY in the morning.
Asked if losing the lead and the game may affect his team, Vigneault said: "When the puck drops on Sunday, we won't remember that".
Neither team made lineup changes from the series opener.
Cam Talbot got the shutout in goal for the Oilers.
"I played playoff games at MSG, it's incredible", McDonagh said.
Making matters even worse, the Oilers scored the only two goals of the game with San Jose on the power play. Connor McDavid provided insurance with his short-handed goal 10:31 into the third period.
The physicality heated up in the second period when tempers rose after a whistle, leading to fighting majors to J.T. Miller and Shea Weber, as well as roughing minors to Mats Zuccarello and Jordie Benn, with Zuccarello getting four minutes.