The New York Rangers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at the Garden and found out that a wounded team is a dangerous one.
Rookie netminder Cayden Primeau was up to the task, but in the end the Rangers did just enough to get the 3-2 victory.
Recap: Rangers 3 vs Canadiens 2
The Rangers looked very much like a team with 11 more points in the standings than the Canadiens. New York would pepper Primeau with 17 shots in the opening 20 minutes. It certainly was the start of a busy night for the 22 year-old.
Ryan Strome was just one point away from his 150th with the New York Rangers before the game started. He would get that out of the way in the first period.
Strome centered the puck to the Blueshirts’ rainmaker Artemi Panarin, who stayed with it despite the Habs defender blocking his shot. Panarin found Kaapo Kakko in front, who put it home for a 1-0 lead at 15:46.
The Canadiens almost came close to tying the game in the waning minutes. With 10 seconds left, Jake Evans broke in on Igor Shesterkin. A flash of Igor’s glove and Filip Chytil’s stick saw the puck slide across the crease. Artturi Lehkonen crashed the net and chipped it wide over the prone Shesterkin.
In the second period, the Rangers were sloppy. Maybe it was playing their third game in four nights, or they simply took the Habs lightly.
Montreal tied the game just 2:17 in when Christian Dvorak scored an easy tap in from behind the net. Adam Fox made an uncharacteristic bad play getting lost behind the net before the goal.
A little over a minute after the Habs tied it, Ryan Reaves put a big hit on Michael Pezzetta. The kid took offense and made a poor decision by dropping his gloves. The Rangers 34 year-old enforcer dominated Pezzetta and let out a “Woo!” when it was done.
Call it the Reavo effect, but soon after the fight Mika Zibanejad found Chris Kreider off the rush to regain the lead 2-1. For the 30 year-old vet, it was his 12th goal of the season.
“He’s a good fighter,” a smirking Shesterkin said after the game.
The third period looked like the Blueshirts would finally blow this game wide open.
Julien Gauthier was dogged on the puck and stole it from a Habs defender. After the pickpocket, he turned to the net and going went for the 3-1 lead just 1:56 into the final stanza.
“Sometimes you get rewarded when you work hard,” Gauthier said afterwards. “It was fun to get one in.”
Unfortunately, the kid could barely celebrate his first goal of the season when Josh Anderson cut the lead again just 22 seconds later.
From there it was almost all Montreal as they outshot the Rangers 12-8 in the final period. But in the end, team MVP Igor Shesterkin stood firm and made 31 total saves en route to his 8th win on the year.
When the buzzer sounded, the New York Rangers moved into first place by one point in the Metro Division.
“The last three games we’ve played better hockey,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “I think the team is getting together, knowing each other pretty well. We’re clicking right now.”
- Igor Shesterkin was big when he needed to be with 31 stops and a .939 SV%
- Kaapo Kakko was named the first star of the game and now has a two game goal streak
- Strome’s assist was his 150th point with the Blueshirts
Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 17): Practice at MSG Training Center (11:45 AM)
Next Game: Thursday, November 18 at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)
*Schedule subject to change
Are changes coming for the Canucks? What will the NYR do at RW? Read more here.