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Rangers Give Canadiens 5th Consecutive Win

Sluggish. The only word that comes to mind to describe last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. The New York Rangers did not look like the team they have been proving themselves to be lately. They lacked the speed, aggression, and offense last night. It does not help, however, that forward Rick Nash was out of the lineup last night with an undisclosed injury.

The Blueshirts needed that hard-nose passion we are used to seeing, but the Canadiens played a boring style that seemed to lull the Rangers in. The first period proved to be a drag, while there were a few opportunities for the Blueshirts, the game seemed lifeless for both teams. This worked in the Canadiens favor. The Rangers do best when they are on the attack from the gate, and when they can win all the small battles. Last night at Madison Square Garden, it was simply a snore fest.

“They play it extremely boring,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who shook off a monstrous second-period slap shot from P.K. Subban to his right shoulder and plowed on to make 15 saves. “They’re a smart team. They didn’t give up much and they were just waiting for mistakes.” (NHL.com)

The Rangers changed the momentum a bit in the second period when Anton Stralman captured his second goal of the season to make it 1-0. The go-ahead goal came on a delayed penalty. Stralman and the Blueshirts backed the Canadiens into their own zone, and the Canadiens stopped skating giving the Rangers the opportunity to grab the 1-0 lead.

Rangers Give Canadiens 5th Consecutive Win
Montreal’s Brandon Prust, a former Ranger, sets up Alex Galchenyuk’s game-winning goal.
(Debby Wong, USA TODAY Sports)

This would be the last time the Blueshirts would get on the board, as the Canadiens capitalized on a questionable icing call at 18:45 in the second period. Josh Gorges set up Max Pacioretty in the high slot, and Pacioretty had a quick snap shot that would beat goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist.

The Canadiens pocketed the third period with a goal from Alex Galchenyuk that came on an odd-man rush. Galchenyuk roofed one past Lundqvist to make it 2-1, breaking the tie.

The final goal was an empty netter late in the third as the Rangers were on a power play and tried to generate some offense with a 6-on-4 advantage. The Canadiens would squeak by the Rangers to win their fifth consecutive game.

Last night’s game was the fifth of nine scheduled games against the original six rival. The Rangers are 3-2-0 against the Canadiens in the five games thus far.

While the Rangers play seemed sluggish and sub-par, the Canadiens were not so hot either, but the Canadiens found a way to notch last night’s game onto their belts.

“I thought it was probably one of the worst hockey games I’ve been involved in, both teams,” Tortorella said. “But they were better than we were.” (NHL.com)

Josh Gorges Knocks off
Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens knocks Marc Staal of the Rangers off the puck in the third period at Madison Square Garden. (Feb. 19, 2013)
(PhotoSource: Mike Stobe)

Familiar Faces

There was a familiar face on the ice last night, forward, Brandon Prust. Prust signed with Montreal as a free agent after last season, and it was the first time Prust played as a visitor at MSG.

“The emotions were kind of high at the beginning, but as the game went on it turns into just a regular game,” Prust said. “Today was more about getting two points. We played a game last night so we were pretty exhausted. I think if I got into a fight tonight, I would’ve lasted 10 seconds.”

Prust did not let the emotions get in the way as he tallied a season-high 16:26 of ice time and helped to capture the winning goal.

Kaitlin Sullivan

Kaitlin Sullivan

Massachusetts native, and avid hockey fanatic, I grew up in a "hockey family" and began spending countless hours in frigid hockey rinks beginning at age 2. I eat, sleep, breathe, and love every aspect of the game and I have always known that hockey was my passion. Unfortunately being a 5'5" female, however, would not grant me a place in the show. The next best thing would be writing and hopefully someday becoming a rink-side NHL reporter. My past reporting experience includes work with ESPNU Campus Connection, WHDH Channel 7 Boston, and Madison Square Garden Network. I am currently a sports broadcasting major at Boston College. Twitter: @kaitEsull
Kaitlin Sullivan

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