This loss is a bit of a difficult one to take. The Rangers played very well int his game. They generated offense, they had a solid powerplay, but they just couldn’t solve Carey Price. Price kept it at 1-0 (on that flukey goal) for a long time before one breakdown made it 2-0. Following that, the Rangers didn’t give up (still generated good chances), but you could tell something was off. That’s what good teams do: They capitalize on the chances they are given. If there’s a silver lining, look at this game as a step in the right direction. They played very well, but lost to a much better team. On to the goals:
Montreal 1, Rangers 0
Michael Ryder made an innocent play to dump the puck into the zone while his linemates were changing. However, the boards behind the net in Montreal are lively, and the puck bounced oddly and wound up banking off the side of the net to the slot. Steve Eminger was a bit flat-footed, and Marty Biron made a lazy poke at the puck instead of trying to swat it behind the net. Ryder picked it up and had a lot of time to find the open net.
Montreal 2, Rangers 0
Ryan McDonagh rushed the puck in, but got knocked down in deep in front of the Montreal net. Marian Gaborik was back to cover for him at the half boards, but not back enough and was caught in no man’s land. The puck was a little deep, but it was clear that Montreal had the puck and was going to maintain control. Once Andrei Markov got the puck past Gaborik to Max Pacioretty, it was a guaranteed two-on-one with Dan Girardi back. Girardi took the pass away, but may have given Pax a bit too much room. Biron had no chance on the shot.
Montreal 3, Rangers 0
Brian Boyle won a key face off on the penalty kill, and the puck winds up swinging around the boards. Carl Hagelin, however, failed to clear the puck at the half boards, allowing the Canadiens powerplay to get a good chance. Markov took a shot from the point, and Boyle took out his man in front following the save by Biron. However, Michael Del Zotto didn’t take out Brendan Gallagher, and got caught watching. There was only so much Biron could do.
The loss gives the series sweep to the Canadiens, and makes the Rangers 0-7-1 against the Habs, Sens, and Jets. If they didn’t play Canadian teams, they’d be a team atop the Eastern Conference. Alas, they are not. That said, there are a lot of positives to take from this game. If the Rangers play like they did tonight throughout the rest of the season, they will win a lot more games.