Canadiens pushed to the brink after losing 3-2 in overtime
|Montreal Gazette 20 Apr 2017 at 20:53|
Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov checks Rangers winger Rick Nash while goalie Carey Price makes the save Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette
The bottom line: Mika Zibanejad scored at 14:22 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Canadiens Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The win gives the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
Lehkonen breaks the ice: Artturi Lehkonen opened the scoring when he beat Henrik Lundqvist on a wraparound at 12:07 of the first period. It was the Finnish rookie’s second goal of the playoffs. Each team managed to score a goal after Kevin Hayes was sent off at 14:29 for holding Max Pacioretty’s stick. Jesper Fast got a step inside Nathan Beaulieu and scored a shorthanded goal on a pass from Zibanejad at 15:56. The Rangers got a break after Zibanejad picked off a lazy pass from Alex Galchenyuk. The Canadiens regained the lead when Brendan Gallagher scored a power-play goal at 16:20 after Andrei Markov set him up in the high slot. It was the first goal of the series for Gallagher, who absorbed a lot of punishment in the first period. Earlier in the power play, he was drilled from behind by Ryan McDonagh and he went to the dressing room late in the period after he was slashed in the ribs by Mats Zuccarello.
Breaking even: The Rangers tied the game 2-2 at 18:28 of the second period when defenceman Brady Skjei pinched in and scored off a rebound after Carey Price made the initial save on Rick Nash coming out of the corner. Philip Danault hit a post early in the third period, but 10:11 elapsed before Montreal registered its first shot on goal.
The numbers game: The Canadiens went 1-for-4 on the power play and are 3-for-17 in the series. The Montreal penalty-killing unit killed off two more penalties and the Rangers are 0-for-14 with the extra man. For the fourth time in five games, the teams combined for at least 100 hits, but this was the first game in which the Canadiens outhit the Rangers 51-49.
Emelin returns: Defenceman Alexei Emelin made his first appearance since April 5, replacing Brandon Davidson on the third pairing with Beaulieu. Emelin, who was out with a lower-body injury, had seven hits in the game.