Rangers Ice Canadiens 3-1, Take 2-0 Series Lead In East Final
After word came out today that Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price would be out for the remainder of the playoffs, Montreal media and fans alike were thrown into a frenzy, of course this all happened prior to the drop of the puck for game two of the Eastern Conference Final between the Canadiens and the New York Rangers.
Chris Kreider immediately became public enemy number one in the city of Montreal, as he was accused of running into Price after having a breakaway opportunity in game one. He was tripped up by Alexi Emelin, but Canadien fans were having none of that. They now hate Kreider, and have pinned all responsibility on the young forward.
After all of this occurred, it was inevitable that the Canadiens were going to come out tonight with a full load of steam and try to take the play to the Rangers. That’s exactly what they did. They opened up guns blazing as they were flying up and down the ice trying to grab that pivotal first goal. After a plethora of quality scoring chances that were turned away by Henrik Lundqvist, the Habs broke through after Max Pacioretty scored off a fluke bounce to make the game 1-0.
The Bell Centre was then thrown into a frenzy, and things were looking pretty bleak for the Rangers. However, they responded, as the fourth line for New York got things going just seconds later, and Ryan McDonagh knotted the game at one after his shot took a bounce off of Josh Gorges in front of the net.
After this, the Rangers seemed to settle down and really take control of the game. Goals by Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis would follow, and the Rangers led 3-1 heading into the third period.
— NHL (@NHL) May 20, 2014
The Canadiens had some prime chances in the final 20 minutes, but they were again shut down by Lundqvist, as he was rock solid for his team, making 40 saves to preserve the lead and give the Rangers a 2-0 series lead heading back to the Big Apple for games three and four.
New York’s season looked to be over after they were down 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but after the passing of St. Louis’ mother, he took upon an immediate leadership role and has led the Rangers to five straight wins and two wins away from playing for the Stanley Cup.
It seems like the first time in forever since the Rangers have had a 2-0 series lead through the opening two games, to be exact, the last time they did this was in 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers. They went on to sweep the series.
Nash is coming alive as he has two goals in the first two games of the series, Alain Vigneault is being masterful behind the bench, and Lundqvist is a rock in net. Things are looking up for the boys in blue at the moment.
The puck drops for game three at 8pm on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.