Strong Defensive Effort
The Rangers defense in the regular season was nothing to write home about. They were 12th in the NHL in goals against, giving up 2.6 goals per game. They struggled up front, sometimes putting their goaltenders in impossible situations. The Rangers also struggled when shorthanded, killing penalties only 79.8 percent of the time, which ranked 19th in the NHL.
While the regular season defense was not strong, the Rangers defense showed up in Round One. Lundqvist was outstanding in net, but the defense in front of him also did their part, giving up 1.8 goals per game.
The Rangers were able to shut down Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty was the Canadiens leading scorer in the regular season with 67 points, netting 35 goals and handing out 32 assists. He did not get in the scorebooks once in six games in the playoffs.
The Rangers penalty kill was also strong. They killed 17 of 20 penalties, equaling out to 85 percent. Two of the three power-play goals for the Canadiens came in Game 3.
Overall it was a good series for the Rangers. They did a lot of things well, starting on the defensive side of the game. The Rangers will be riding a nice wave of momentum into Round Two.