Radulov helps Canadiens beat Rangers 3-1 for series lead

Radulov helps Canadiens beat Rangers 3-1 for series lead

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.

From the opening face-off, the Rangers served notice that they would not surrender easily.

Lundqvist kept the game scoreless in the first period, as he made several point-blank stops among his 10 saves during the opening 20 minutes while Price only had to make six saves.

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. But the preponderance of play was controlled by the Rangers.

NY pulled Lundqvist for an extra attacker with more than four minutes to go, and Skjei finally broke through.

Meanwhile, Lundqvist was brilliant, stopping subsequent breakaways by Andrew Shaw and Torrey Mitchell. The puck caromed off the end boards awkwardly and was mishandled by the normally sure-handed Markov.

Rick Nash's tie-breaking goal early in the second period was the game-winner while Jesper Fast also scored for NY.

"I don't blame him", Price said of the collision.

When Alexander Radulov got going, so did the Canadiens.

"We're definitely fighting it a little bit, to say the least", NY captain Ryan McDonagh said.

The Rangers were not overly concerned about being outshot 58-38 in Game 2. Weber one-timed a feed from Alex Galchenyuk past Lundqvist to finish off a sequence that began with Jeff Petry knocking the puck off of Rick Nash's stick in the defensive zone to start the counter-attack. Joel Edmundson scored the first St. Louis after netting the overtime tally in Game 1.

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Montreal Canadiens takes on New York Rangers in the NHL Round 1 game-3 tonight. The Rangers were dominant in the second period and scored twice.

The Canadiens had issues of their own defensively. Captain Ryan McDonagh was a two-way beast. Nash tucked the puck through Price's legs for the go-ahead goal.

What will decide Tuesday night's game?

NY outshot Montreal, 32-24, and forced the Canadiens into 16 giveaways.

At about the 17:30 mark, Derek Stepan was called for a fairly trivial hooking penalty. Fast had jumped on an Andrei Markov turnover in the far corner, then curled towards the net and shovelled a backhander between Price's legs to give NY its first lead since Game 2.

Artturi Lehkonen and Shea Weber also had goals for the Canadiens.

In period three, Coach Julien juggled his lines to try and get something going. Lundqvist's toughest stops occurred on Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw in the first, and on an Alex Galchenyuk shot in the third where the NY goaltender turned to find the puck alongside the far post.

That focus seems to be on forechecking the slower Rangers defensemen and letting goaltender Carey Price see as many shots as possible.

Everything about this one felt different from two nights earlier, from the bread-and-butter speed and playmaking the Rangers displayed to generate far more looks, a more aggressive and cohesive forecheck, determination in winning pucks and the crowd, whose cheers and applause were louder and more frequent as they responded to a vastly improved performance.

Montreal went 2 for 3 with the man advantage and killed all three NY power plays.

That means he's finished strong - as the games have gotten tougher.

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