Yet again, the New York Rangers couldn’t complete the job, falling to the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 after putting forth a furious comeback.
- New York Rangers 4 (3-7-2, 8 pts)
- Montreal Canadiens 5 (4-7-1, 9 pts)
- NHL, Eastern Conference, Final, Box Score
- Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
For any holdover fans who thought the Arizona Coyotes victory would begin momentum in Rangerstown, that sentiment has clearly been shut down.
Defense was yet again the top culprit in the New York Rangers disheartening 5-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night north of the border.
Before anybody could even blink an eye, it was 3-0 Habs at the 13:15 mark of the first period. What makes the loss all the more frustrating is the idea that this offensive team always seems to fight back, but can never play hockey-winning defense from coast-to-coast.
Two goals in the second period (Pavel Buchnevich, Rick Nash) put New York back within one. Max Pacioretty then answered two minutes later to increase the lead to 4-2.
Rick Nash cuts it to a 3-2 game, but then that soft #NYR defense shows up again. 4-2 Habs in the second. pic.twitter.com/PS5TcvSF6E
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) October 29, 2017
Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello tallied a goal apiece in the first half of the third period to tie the game and, thus, completing the comeback. Naturally, Montreal responded 2:37 later in the form of Phillip Daneault, the game-winner and his second of the contest.
J.T. Miller and Kevin Shattenkirk tallied two assists apiece. For the Habs, Daneault finished the game with four points (two goals, two assists).
Ondrej Pavelec, the man who received a second-straight start thanks to Henrik Lundqvist‘s banged up groin, stopped 38-of-43 shots. Carey Price stopped 22-of-26. This means New York was out-shot by a grand total of 43-to-26.
Sure, Alain Vigneault‘s system creates an uptempo breed of offense. These guys can score. It just doesn’t matter when your defense is this bad that it ranks 23rd in the league (3.36 goals against per game).
Still stuck on eight points, the Rangers will now turn their attention to the Las Vegas Golden Knights at home on Tuesday night.
Les Canadiens l'emportent à la maison! / The Habs win it at home! #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/m2EnAcbG3x
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 29, 2017