With under a minute to go in regulation, all was well for the New York Rangers. That was, until, disaster struck in the form of the Montreal Canadiens. 

  • New York Rangers 3 (1-1)
  • Montreal Canadiens 4 (1-1)
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1
  • Game 2, Final, Box Score
  • Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Two games in Montreal, two extremely different results. Unlike game one that saw Henrik Lundqvist dominate in front of a surprisingly strong defense, the New York Rangers collapsed late leading to a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss.

Nursing a 3-2 lead, Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Plekanec knotted the game with less than 18 seconds to go:

For the majority of the third period and all of overtime, the Habs completely dominated play. They were quicker, stronger and destroyed the Rangers defensive integrity.

All New York could do was try to hang on. They couldn’t.

With just 1:26 to go in the first OT frame, Alexander Radulov outmuscled Mika Zibanejad in front of the net and found a way to sneak the winner past Henrik Lundqvist:

The second period saw the Rangers put up the five-star comeback effort. The ultimate difference maker in this effort came off the body of Mats Zuccarello in the second period, a goal that came thanks to the hard-working effort of Brendan Smith:

Just five minutes prior, New York came up with the equalizer, courtesy of Rick Nash who showcased a prime time sniper-job that beat all-world goaltender Carey Price:

As good as Henrik Lundqvist was in game one when he collected his 10th career Stanley Cup Playoffs shutout, he might’ve been even better on Friday night. The problem was, the Rangers defensive structure didn’t comply. All told, the King stopped 54-of-58 shots.

No NHL team can see success in the playoffs when surrendering 58 shots. Once AV’s club lost its defensive integrity in the third period, that was it. They couldn’t recover.

The first Rangers goal of the game came courtesy of Michael Grabner who made a tremendous defensive play by intercepting a blue line pass and taking it coast-to-coast, undressing Pirce on the other end with an an-world finishing move:

Early on, the Habs came out even more crazed than they did two nights ago. Brendan Gallagher and company were flying all over the ice, piling up the hits to over 20. At the same time, the Rangers answered the physical presence until the final frame came rolling to us.

Jeff Petry and Paul Byron tallied the Habs other two goals on the night.

Byron’s goal came with a dash of luck as pest Brendan Gallagher skated through the crease and broke the stick of Lundqvist.

Price stopped 35-of-38 Ranger shots on the night.

With the series now tied at one, Game 3 is slated for Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com