Rangers skeleton crew fall 4-3 to the Canadiens

Apr 27, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Frank Vatrano (77) fights for the puck against Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jordan Harris (54) and center Tyler Pitlick (24) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Rangers certainly didn’t look like the Rangers we are used to seeing on Wednesday night when they faced the Montreal Canadiens.

With the team locked into second place, head coach Gerard Gallant played it cautious and rested a majority of his star players. Missing from this game were Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, Andrew Copp, Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox, and Ryan Lindgren– and man did it show.

Despite coming back to tie it three times, the skeleton crew Rangers eventually fell 4-3.

“Obviously the goal is to win every night,” Kevin Rooney said afterwards. “I thought the guys that haven’t played a lot really stepped up tonight. McKegg, Brodzinski, Gauthier, Hajek and Jones put their best foot forward.”

Recap: Canadiens 4 vs Rangers 3

new york rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers didn’t lack intensity in this one but they certainly lacked execution. It was an overall sloppy affair that ended with goals in the last minute of the second and third period by Habs defenseman Jeff Petry.

Ryan Poehling opened the scoring with 1:15 left in the first period, which was a sign of things to come for the Blueshirts.

Ryan Reaves would get the Rangers even 4:14 into the second period with a shot from the slot. Patrik Nemeth and Rooney picked up the helpers.

Montreal regained the lead on a tally from Petry with just 9 seconds remaining.

At the start of the third period, the Rangers looked like they were getting their game together. Frank Vatrano, flying down the left side snapped a wicked shot over the glove of Sam Montembeault to tie it at 2 apiece.

Again, the Rangers miscues in their own zone led to Mike Hoffman putting Montreal back up only to see Ryan Strome knot it again 3:33 later on a shorthanded goal.

The Rangers crowd was buzzing and it looked like the team was headed to OT before a calamity of errors began. Missed passes, reaching, and a flopping Barclay Goodrow could not get the puck out of the zone.

Christian Dvorak grabbed a loose puck and fed Petry coming down the right side. He snapped a shot from a bad angle that went over Alexandar Georgiev’s glove for the game winner with 31 seconds remaining.

“Nobody got hurt, that was a key thing tonight and we played pretty well overall,” Gerard Gallant noted. “We got through the game (with no injuries).”

Notable Rangers

  • Alexandar Georgiev stopped 20 of 24 shots
  • Ryan Reaves notched his 5th goal of the season
  • Frank Vatrano scored his 8th goal with the Rangers (13 points in 21 games)
  • Ryan Strome registered his 21st goal, only his 2nd career SHG

Tomorrow (Thursday, April 28): Day Off

Next Game: Friday, April 29 vs. Washington Capitals (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)

*Schedule subject to change

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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