Rangers throttle Canadiens, 7-2; Take 1-0 Eastern Conference Finals Series Lead


If they didn’t know any better, one might think they were mistakenly looking at a score from a football game.

The Rangers, who set the tone early and didn’t look back, put up a touchdown to Montreal’s safety, to take home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals, and a 1-0 series lead in the pre-cursor to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Henrik Lundqvist, who was an absolute brick wall yet again in net, led the way for the Rangers, who have suddenly won 4 straight since falling behind 3-1 in their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Martin St. Louis, who tragically lost his mother, France, last Thursday, continued his heart-warming hot-streak, netting the first goal of game just 4:35 into the contest. The Rangers would add another goal from Mats Zuccarello shortly thereafter, before the Habs finally got on the board, when Rene Borque cut the lead in half at the 12-minute mark of the 2nd period off a fluky bounce.

As the period wore down, with the Canadiens threatening, Chris Kreider, who’s lightning, Sergei Federov-esque speed has been a spark-plug for the Rangers in these playoffs, buried a wrist-shot past the stick of Carey Price to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

A beauty of a goal just 0:49 seconds later by Brad Richards would prove to be the dagger, ending a forgettable day for Price, who had a scare earlier in the game, when Chris Kreider crashed into the net minder, causing him to twist his right knee.

A flurry of goals in the third during an extended power play thanks to a 10-minute misconduct from former Ranger Brandon Prust officially turned this one into a laugher, as the Rangers poured it on against backup goalie Peter Budaj. Rick Nash, who had failed to score a playoff goal until today, finally got off the schnide, scoring the Rangers 7th and final goal. The Canadiens added a meaningless tally on a shorthanded snipe by Lars Eller late in 3rd period.

The Rangers will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in Montreal on Monday night at 8pm on NBCSN.


Wow, as a Devils fan, I hate to say it, but the Rangers look really good right now.  Ever since falling down 3-1 to the Penguins, they have rallied around mid-season acquisition Marty St. Louis, and look like a team on the fast track to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Easily the most impressive thing about today’s victory was the fact that there were seven different goal scorers. This isn’t a team that relies on one or two players like the Penguins do with Crosby and Malkin. This is a well-rounded team that is clicking on all cylinders right now.

Something to keep an eye on is the is the injury status of both Rangers C Derek Brassard, who suffered a UBI less than a minute into Game 1 after being pummeled by Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver, and Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who hurt his knee in an aforementioned collision with Chris Kreider. Both of these guys are vital to their teams’ success, and it’ll be interesting to see what their availability is going forward (UPDATE: Carey Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals with a knee injury. His replacement, who will either be Peter Budaj or Dustin Tokarski, has yet to be announced, but this is obviously a huge blow to the Canadiens Stanley Cup prospects).

As a hockey fan, I would love to see the Rangers face the Blackhawks in the finals. The thought of Lundqvist vs. Crawford, Kane vs. St. Louis and Toews vs. Richards makes for an extremely enticing matchup.

The Rangers still have a ways to go before getting there, as do the Blackhawks, but for now, I’ll continue to enjoy what has, thus far, been a thrilling pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup.