New York Rangers
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers, led by a ridiculous coast-to-coast by Neal Pionk, knock off the Montreal Canadiens by the final of 5-3 on Tuesday.

  • New York Rangers 5 (7-7-1, 15 pts)
  • Montreal Canadiens 3 (8-5-2, 18 pts)
  • NHL, East, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The New York Rangers may be stuck in a rebuild but on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, they showed they will not go quietly into the night. David Quinn’s club overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3.

The Blueshirts, at one point, trailed the Habs by a score of 3-1 late into the second period, but then would go on to score four straight unanswered goals to beat Montreal.

This win now brings the Rangers winning streak to four games, a new season high for the Blueshirts. Scoring for the Blueshirts was Chris Kreider in the first, Tony DeAngelo late in the second and Pavel Buchnevich, Neal Pionk and Mika Zibanejad scoring in the third.

Head coach David Quinn was very impressed with his young team’s ability to handle adversity, via the MSG Network postgame show.

“To be able to play the way we did in the third and show some of the characteristics you need to have a successful hockey team feels pretty good,” Quinn said.

Quinn also commended the younger members of his team for having their presence felt on the ice at the NHL level.

“I’m happy for them,” Quinn said. “These guys are good players and the biggest thing at this level is you got to redefine what hard work is and I think guys that are offensive players have to understand what it takes to be effective offensively in this league. It’s probably unlike anything you go through before you get here. These guys are talented players, it’s just a lesson they have to learn, they’re young and it’s fun to watch. I feel good for them.”

The Rangers found themselves trailing very early in the game after Tomas Tatar sniped it past Henrik Lundqvist a mere 23 seconds into the game. Kreider would tie it late in the period after a beautiful feed from Kevin Hayes, but four minutes into the second, Tatar would add another goal on some hard work and then Max Domi all alone in front of the net on the power play would then give the Canadiens a three to one lead two minutes later.

Quinn thought the Rangers lacked in energy during the second period, but made up for it in the third.

“You just don’t win hockey games without effort,” Quinn said. “I didn’t think we had an awful lot of that in the second period. You got to skate in this game, you got to want to hit people, you got to get in people’s way. You got to earn victories in this league and I thought we did a pretty good job of that in the third period and we earned it.”

The Rangers did have plenty of opportunities in the second, including a five on three power play, to try and get back in the game but failed to capitalize. It seemed like an insurmountable task with one of the best goalies in the game Carey Price in net. But the Blueshirts eventually did capitalize shortly after one of their power plays ended as DeAngelo sent a shot from the point through traffic and over the right shoulder of Price cutting the deficit to one heading into the third.

Still needing the third goal, Pavel Buchnevich, in just his second game back after being a healthy scratch for two straight, would cash in on a rebound from a Marc Staal shot to tie the game at three with 11-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation.

With just under four minutes left, the Rangers would then get a power play opportunity after the Habs were called for too many men on the ice but the power play would be negated after a Jimmy Vesey hooking call to make it a four on four.

With the Garden crowd still chanting their disdain for the call, Neal Pionk would then proceed to take the puck from behind his own net and go coast-to-coast for a beautiful goal past the left pad of Price to give the Rangers what would ultimately be the game-winning goal. Zibanejad would score 56 seconds later to give the Blueshirts the extra cushion.

“I really didn’t think I had a step on him,” Pionk said on his goal, dawning the Broadway Hat. “But once I felt that I did I cut to the net and put it in.”

The goalie matchup tonight featured two of the best in the league in Lundqvist and Price. Lundqvist would take the win this time around stopping 31 of 34 shots. After the game, Lundqvist said his younger teammates are learning as they go.

“I talked after the last game we are learning from experience,” Lundqvist said. “I think the way we played in the first two periods was not going to work for us and especially not against this quick team like Montreal. Quinn had a great message for us going into the third and we took it to heart.”

This game was also the season debut for Lias Andersson, who was called up from the Hartford Wolfpack after Brett Howden’s injury. Quinn was impressed with the 2017 seventh overall pick of the draft.

“I thought Lias had a good night,” Quinn said. “I liked his game a lot tonight and I’m not surprised. He’s a good player, he had a good six weeks in Hartford and we knew he would be back here eventually.”

Though the Rangers are still expected to be bottom feeders in the standings, Lundqvist still believes his fellow Blueshirts can turn some heads.

“This league is so tight and there’s going to be a lot of teams battling to get in,” Lundqvist said. “We can be in that pack, it’s about getting it done when you have an opportunity. You’re not going to play great every night, you’re not going to win every night, but when you that opportunity to get points you got to grab it. It’s going to be a tight race and for us it’s important to be part of that race no matter what situation we’re in as a club. We need to be in there and understand the importance of winning and to feel that importance as well, it’s huge for us moving forward. Winning four in a row, and in different ways too, it’s going to help us moving forward.”

This win takes the Rangers record to 7-7-1 bumping them up to sixth in the Metropolitan division. The Rangers will be back in action on Friday night when the faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.

WPU Graduate. Die-hard Ranger fan. Pain loving Jet fan. Loves to make comic, movie and TV references. Born and raised in Central Jersey. Twitter @JohnnyLonny82 Instagram @JackKnife82