Habs win 5th straight in victory over Rangers

By
Updated: February 20, 2013

Rookie Alex Galchenyuk scored the tie-breaking
goal early in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens posted their fifth
straight victory with a 3-1 decision over the New York Rangers from Madison
Square Garden.

Galchenyuk, the third overall pick of the 2012 draft, potted his second career
NHL marker 1:48 into the final session to snap a 1-1 deadlock. Raphael Diaz
sealed the win with an empty-net tally with 1:06 left, while Max Pacioretty
also lit the lamp to help back a solid 24-save effort from Habs goaltender
Carey Price.

“I think we’re just sticking to our system in every game,” said Price.
“Obviously that’s been working for us and we’re seeing success from that. It’s
easy to stick with it when you see it works.”

Henrik Lundqvist stopped just 15-of-17 shots for New York, which had a string
of five straight outings in which it registered at least one point (4-0-1)
halted.

Anton Stralman recorded the lone goal for a Rangers team that played without
star sniper Rick Nash due to an undisclosed injury.

“They shut the neutral zone down really good tonight,” said New York
defenseman Marc Staal. “And when we were able to get into their zone they
limited our lanes and we couldn’t get a lot of good opportunities.”

Galchenyuk’s game-winner came on a 3-on-2 breakout by Montreal created by Lars
Eller’s blocked shot of New York’s Marc Staal, with the 19-year-old receiving
a feed from ex-Ranger Brandon Prust and rocketing the puck past Lundqvist.

New York had a prime opportunity to pull even after the Canadiens’ Tomas
Plekanec was penalized for tripping with 3:06 to play, but Diaz sealed the
outcome by firing the puck into the vacated net from his own end as the power
play was ending.

After a scoreless and uneventful first period in which the teams combined for
just eight shots, Stralman broke the tie with 6:31 left in the second. The
defenseman beat Price in close after taking in a well-placed centering pass
from Derek Stepan.

Montreal would answer late in the frame, however, when Josh Gorges hit
Pacioretty for a one-timer that forged a 1-1 tie with 1:15 remaining before
the second intermission.

Game Notes

Prust returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time since signing a
four-year contract with Montreal in July. The forward had spent the previous
three seasons with the Rangers … Montreal snapped a three-game losing streak
at MSG and ended a string of seven straight in the series in which the home
team had prevailed … Rangers forward Brandon Mashinter appeared in his first
NHL game since Apr. 6, 2011 while with San Jose. He was recalled from AHL
Connecticut on Monday after the club placed forward Darroll Powe (concussion)
on injured reserve … Montreal has allowed just two goals over its last four
wins.