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National Hockey League
Montreal 3, NY Rangers 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 16, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Referees: Jean Hebert, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen: Scott Driscoll, Matt MacPherson
Attendance: 18006

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens played a near-perfect defensive game Sunday night that featured one of the best individual efforts on a goal in recent postseason memory.

Alexander Radulov, with a player draped on his back, worked his way around goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for a one-handed goal as the Canadiens dispatched the New York Rangers 3-1 at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 of their first-round series.

The Canadiens, who were seconds away from falling into a 2-0 series hole Friday, now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series that will resume Tuesday night at MSG.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (20 saves) was 2:56 away from perhaps the easiest shutout of his career when Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei scored on a long slap shot that ricocheted off a Montreal defender. Outside of that one blemish, it was a suffocating performance from the Canadiens.

"We had a solid performance from all our guys," Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "You can't afford any weak links, and we didn't have any tonight."

"It's an ideal road game, for sure," Price said. "I thought we played pretty tight and played as a unit. We played with a lot of confidence. That's a team that wants to get to the net and we want to box them out. It's a pretty classic story of playoff hockey."

The Rangers had just six shots in each of the first two periods and finished with 21 overall after a late push with Lundqvist out of the net for an extra attacker. Since the second period of Game 2, the Canadiens have outshot the Rangers 78-50.

In their past six postseason home games, the Rangers are 0-6 and won just two of 10 games at Madison Square Garden to finish the regular season.

"I think it's important we start with ourselves and not look at what they are doing," Lundqvist said. "Yes, they are a good team. We have to give more at home, in the playoffs, or we aren't going to win. We need more. It's as simple as that."

Lundqvist did everything he could for a third game in a row and made several difficult saves over the first two periods to keep the game scoreless. But penalties would eventually be New York's downfall.

The Rangers' J.T. Miller was whistled for a faceoff violation late in the second period as he played the puck in the circle with his hand. Artturi Lehkonen converted on the ensuing power play, burying a pass from Brendan Gallagher to make it 1-0.

Defenseman Shea Weber made it 2-0 at 7:42 of the third period with Mats Zuccarello in the penalty box serving a four-minute penalty for high sticking. Radulov started the play at the blue line and Alex Galchenyuk drew the attention of Lundqvist before sliding the puck to Weber for a one-timer that gave the Canadiens some breathing room.

Zuccarello's penalty, born out of frustration, led to what proved to be the game-winning goal and Radulov's insurance goal was an emphatic capper to the Canadiens' scoring.

"Any time you're not having success, or getting chances, getting opportunities, there's definitely some frustration," New York forward Rick Nash said. "But it's the playoffs. You have to figure out what you're doing wrong, get over it quick and get ready for the next one."

The power play has been a problem for the Rangers through three games this series -- they are 0-for-10 with the man-advantage after scoring eight power-play goals in their final 10 regular-season games.

"We're definitely fighting it a bit, to say the least," New York captain Ryan McDonagh said. "If it's not going well, we really need to simplify here, make one or two passes and look to get it to the net. We are maybe looking to extend our plays a little bit too much and it's costing us scoring opportunities."

Julien was happy about his team's performance, but in much the same way the Rangers want to move on, forget Game 3 and look to Game 4, so do the Canadiens.

"You like the direction it's going," Julien said, "but with every game, when you play the same team every night, they make adjustments and find ways to create things. So that's what we have to be aware of. We can't just sit there and be satisfied with that stuff.

"We have to stay on top of things and we're going to keep doing that as coaches and make sure we let our players know."

NOTES: Canadiens D Alexei Emelin (lower body) missed his third game in the series. He is back in Montreal and considered day-to-day. Emelin has not played since April 5. ... The Canadiens made one lineup change from Game 2, scratching D Nikita Nesterov and inserting D Brandon Davidson. ... Rangers D Nick Holden was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He was replaced by D Kevin Klein. ... The Rangers have lost six straight playoff games at home dating to the 2015 Eastern Conference final.
Top Game Performances
 
Montreal   NY Rangers
Alexander Radulov 2 Points Brady Skjei 1
Alexander Radulov 1 Goals Brady Skjei 1
Alexander Radulov 1 Assists Kevin Klein 1
Artturi Lehkonen 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carey Price .952 Save Percentage Henrik Lundqvist .897
Carey Price 20 Saves Henrik Lundqvist 26
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Montreal 29 3 2-3 3-3 6 31
NY Rangers 21 1 0-3 1-3 6 28
Upcoming Games
  • NY Rangers will play their next game at home against Montreal. The Rangers have a W/L % of .511 after a win and .686 after a loss.
  • Montreal will play their next game on the road against NY Rangers. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .553 after a win and .600 after a loss.