Inside the small, cramped visitors locker-room, Max Pacioretty tried to see the positive.
Also up 2-0 in their series are the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the defending Stanley Cup champions were again dominant in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While the shots on goal were 12-9 for the Canadiens after the first, with the exception of the last 4-5 minutes, NY was the better team in period one. The Rangers were tight with their gaps late in the game and forced Montreal into seven icings in the final 7:45. "We need to do a better job". We just have to keep that up and hopefully our luck will change.
Montreal Canadiens' Artturi Lehkonen, right, celebrates with Brendan Gallagher, left, and Jeff Petry (26) after scoring during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers, .
Sunday's 3-1 Game 3 loss was a passive clunker for sure but the Rangers have now been the better team in Game 1, the first two periods of Game 2 and this Game 4. The Rangers last won a home playoff game in Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference final.
Henrik Lundqvist finished with 23 saves for the Rangers.
"We can't afford any weak links and we didn't have any tonight".
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Carey Price stopped 32 of the 34 shots against him for Montreal but was far from his best in Game 4.
The main statistical difference was Lundqvist had faced 118 shots - he made a career playoff-high 54 saves in the Rangers' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2, a.k.a.
Trailing 3-2 with time winding down, goaltender Carey Price was pulled and the Canadiens rallied as the Blueshirts tried to protect the slim lead.
The maddening inconsistency that has plagued the Rangers all season long reared its ugly head in the biggest way of ways on Sunday night.
J.T. Miller and the New York Rangers don't want to hear about how their struggles on home ice.
"There's no doubt that experience is a good thing to have", Vigneault had said. "We're gonna go out and we're gonna compete ... and we're gonna play a lot better than we did yesterday".
The Canadiens came back to tie it with just 1:23 left in the first, as both teams were in the midst of bad changes and ostensibly had six skaters on. I came in because I saw that we outnumbered them.
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This has created the odd situation where there have been more copies of that game sold than there are consoles to play it on. Breath of the Wild sold half that number (albeit in two consoles) in a fraction of the time.
Price's toughest save came on a sprawling stop in the third period on NY rookie Jimmy Vesey to keep the deficit at one.
The teams traded goals in the first and went into intermission tied 1-1. Zack Kassian opened the scoring 42 seconds into the second period and Connor McDavid notched his first career playoff goal midway through the third. The puck hit his skate and kicked to Fast, who beat Price between the legs with a backhand shot to make it 1-0.
The Rangers looked like a completely different team than the one that blew a two-goal lead in Game 2 and were outclassed throughout Game 3.
Jesper Fast also scored for NY.
"We're definitely fighting it a little bit, to say the least", NY captain Ryan McDonagh said. "I thought the first 10 minutes we handled it pretty well and then a couple of breakaways you wish you could have capitalized on - at least one". "He told me, 'No, no.' He had some in the KHL so that put me at (ease)".
Game 2 started as if a continuation of Wednesday's tilt, with 53 hits in the first 20 minutes, but more odd-man rushes in the first period than all of Game 1.
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