The New York Rangers dropped their sixth straight playoff game at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, and it wasn’t pretty. They buried that stat on Tuesday, though.
Henrik Lundqvist went from frustrated late in the first period to pumping his fist at the end, guiding the Rangers to a tight 2-1 win against the Canadiens. With that, the intriguing first-round series shifts back to Montreal at a 2-2 tie.
Sometimes, it’s easy to sell a transformation just by looking at the shots on goal, even if that can also be overly simple:
Game 2: Rangers – 38 shots on goal, Canadiens – 58 SOG
Game 3: Rangers – 21 SOG, Canadiens – 29 SOG
Game 4: Rangers – 32 SOG, Canadiens – 24 SOG
As other teams see leads evaporate to dizzying degrees, the Rangers managed to protect a 2-1 lead generated by Rick Nash just 4:28 into the second period. That feels like a lifetime by recent standards.
There was some nasty stuff at times in this Game 4, with Brendan Smith ranking among those who take the most abuse. With this series going to a minimum of six contests and almost every match being tight, this one could get nasty.
The goalies have delivered as advertised, too.