The New York Rangers said all the right things about avoiding making the same mistakes from Game 4 in Game 5, yet Chris Kreider continued the early penalty trend by taking a tripping minor 22 seconds into the contest. This time around, the Montreal Canadiens made the Rangers pay as Alex Galchenyuk tipped a blazing P.K. Subban shot:
After going 1-for-8 in Game 4, the Canadiens are already 1-for-1 on the power play so far. That could be a key confidence booster; the common denominator for both power-play goals was Subban’s dangerous shot.
Perhaps it’s not just a confidence booster for the Habs’ man advantage, either. NBCSN flashed a graphic that underscores how rare it is for Montreal to have an early lead in this series. Here’s how long each team played with a lead this series from a game-by-game perspective:
Game 1: Rangers lead for 55:25; no lead time for Habs
Game 2: Rangers led for 41 minutes and two seconds; Canadiens held a lead for 17 seconds
Game 3: Rangers had a lead for 8:02; Canadiens held lead(s) for 2:33
Game 4: Rangers had lead(s) for 24:46; no lead time for Habs
The first goal hasn’t been everything, but it’s a big deal, particularly for defensive-minded head coach Michel Therrien.