In a brutally physical affair, Ryan McDonagh and the New York Rangers did enough to knock off Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens.

  • New York Rangers 2 (2-2)
  • Montreal Canadiens 1 (2-2)
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1
  • Game 4, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Coming in as losers of their last six home playoff games, the New York Rangers knew something had to be done. In no, way, shape or form is it OK to see Madison Square Garden become a springtime house of horrors.

Through grit and determination, something was, indeed, done.

The Blueshirts held on and edged the Montreal Canadiens by the final of 2-1 to tie the first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series at two games apiece.

From jump street, New York’s mood was hostile. They came out flying, applying offensive zone pressure on all-world goaltender Carey Price.

Their work finally resulted in a goal in the form of Jesper Fast who pounced on a Habs mistake and slid one five-hole:

With Tanner Glass scratched in favor of young Pavel Buchnevich, the new fourth line of Fast, Oscar Lindberg and Michael Grabner was noticeable all night.

Montreal, of course, was not going to crawl up into a ball and call it a night. Torrey Mitchell came up with the equalizer as he was set up by Shea Weber after a busted play resulted in a two-on-one opportunity:

The Habs actually had six players on the ice when the goal was scored, but so did the Rangers. The equalizer came with just 1:23 to go in the opening frame.

The second period featured more high-paced, physical play. The only difference came in the box score as the Rangers tallied the lone goal. On a brilliant play by captain Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash beat Price on a quick strike:

If the fans at MSG thought they saw relentless play during the first two periods, they quickly realized it was nothing compared to what came later. Montreal threw everything but the kitchen sink at Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. They crashed the net with three, sometimes four players time and again, only to be turned back.

The nervous time for the home crowd came with a little over a minute to go when Weber used that “hardest shot in hockey” tag and smacked the right post as square as can be. 

Including the final frantic moments, Hank stopped 23 of 24 shots to earn the hard fought victory. On the other side, Price stopped 30 of 32 Rangers shots.

Unlike game two that saw Montreal pile up nearly 60 shots, New York outshot, outhustled and outplayed the team from the north for a full 60 minutes. More encouraging was the idea that the Rangers complete defensive structure did a terrific job during the final 8-10 minutes of the game. The Habs iced the puck a ridiculous eight times in the third period.

Rick Nash was named the No. 1 star of the game thanks to the game winner, but Ryan McDonagh was the real star of the show. Not only did he defend at an all-world level, he engaged the Habs in their kind of game, the physical, gritty game only suited for the riggors of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the series now tied at two games apiece, game five in Montreal will come to you on Thursday night.

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]