Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash scored their second goals in as many games on Monday night, each beating Dustin Tokarski to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead on the Habs going into the third period of Game 2 at the Bell Center.
Nash gave the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead with under a minute remaining in the opening frame, scoring his second goal of the series — also his second of the entire postseason — on a setup from Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan:
Then, midway through the second, Martin St. Louis scored on the power play — his fifth of the playoffs — which further revived the once-flatlined New York power play. At one point this postseason, the Rangers were a woeful 0-for-36 with the man advantage but have now scored seven times over the last four games:
Both these developments have to be worrisome for Montreal.
Production-wise, Nash had been a virtual non-factor throughout the playoffs but is now heating up, with three points in his last two games. It’s also concerning how well the New York power-play is clicking; Montreal only gave up three power play goals over its entire seven-game series with Boston, yet has already surrendered four through less than two games against the Rangers.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”