New York Rangers Put Forth Pitiful Effort in 3-1 Game 3 Loss to Montreal Canadiens (Highlights)
Apr 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Artturi Lehkonen (62) celebrates scoring a goal past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers put forth, perhaps, the worst effort a home team has in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in quite some time, losing 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens. 

  • New York Rangers 1 (1-2)
  • Montreal Canadiens 3 (2-1)
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs Rd. 1
  • Game 3, Final Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Rangers put together one of the more disappointing efforts of the entire season as their woes continued at Madison Square Garden. They managed a measly 21 shots and a pathetic 0-for-3 power play effort en route to a Game 3 cruise for the Montreal Canadiens.

Period one featured the rangers floundering in their own zone quite a bit. This led to the Canadiens outshooting the rangers 10-6. Henrik Lundqvist had to be sharp early making a couple key stops off deflections. Win or lose, Henrik has been outstanding this series. The Rangers were awarded two power plays off a great play towards the net by Jimmy Vesey, who I felt was the Rangers best forward early, and some hard forechecking work by Tanner Glass.

Unfortunately, it seems Montreal’s penalty killers light up and relish the opportunity, where the Rangers power play seems to run and duck for cover.

We all know hits can be the most misleading stat in hockey. Just ask John Tortorella and the United States World Cup of Hockey team. They outhit every team they played, yet failed to make any noise in the tournament.

But the Rangers came out in the second more determined to get to the body and it seemed to help. The Canadiens are a rugged team and we’re not intimidated by the physicality, however, it allowed the Rangers to force some turnovers which in turn led to some better offensive zone chances.

Defensively, this game was by far and wide the best for Montreal. The Rangers worked hard to try and earn all 11 of their measly shots midway through the second. Montreal packs it in tight in front of Price and blocks a ton of shots, similar to old Torts style in NY.
The Rangers continued to bang their heads on a wall continually trying to be fancy and cute through the neutral zone instead of chipping pucks deep and playing below the face-off dots offensively. If this trend continues, it’ll be very tough to generate offense on Tuesday night as well.
Many hockey people will tell you that Special Teams in the postseason can mean the game, and lo and behold they’re all right. The Canadiens were sharper, more precise and quicker on their power play which went 2-for-2. Great tic-tac-toe passing led to this PP goal for Montreal as rookie Arturri Lehkonen sniped top shelf.

Later in the third period, Shea Weber tallied his first goal of the series off a great feed from Alex Galchenyuk for the Habs’ second Power Play tally.

Finally, to add insult to injury, Alexander Radulov scored arguably the nicest goal of the playoffs, fending off a weak backcheck effort from Kevin Hayes, and finishing it off one handed to beat Lundqvist.

Late in the third frame, Brady Skjei tallied the first Playoff goal of his career at the 17:04 mark. Skjei blasted a one-timer, off passes from Kevin Klein and Mika Zibanejed, which redirected off Paul Byron and beat Carey Price.

The Rangers will return to the ice for Game 4 on Tuesday night back at the Garden. Puck drop will be 7 p.m. ET.

Neal Purcell has a tremendous passion for New York Rangers hockey and the sport of hockey in general. A graduate of SUNY Cortland in Upstate NY, Purcell coaches both a high school hockey team and a travel team in the winter. Purcell is also a part of a small family business in the Central New York Region.