Sunday, April 16, 2017

{allcanada} Radulov helps Canadiens beat Rangers 3-1 for series lead


NEW YORK (AP) Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Artturi Lehkonen and Shea Weber scored power-play goals for Montreal and Carey Price stopped 20 shots.

Radulov, who got the overtime winner in Game 2 on Friday night after Tomas Plekanec tied it with 18 seconds left in regulation, has two goals and three assists in the past two games.

Brady Skjei spoiled Price's shutout bid with 2:56 remaining for his first career playoff goal.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, coming off a playoff career-high 54 saves in Game 2, stopped 26 shots in this one.

Game 4 is Tuesday night.

With Montreal leading 1-0, the Rangers' Mats Zuccarello was whistled for a double-minor for high-sticking 4:07 into the third.

The Canadiens took advantage 3 1/2 minutes later with their second power-play goal of the game. Weber got a pass from Alex Galchenyuk in the left circle and fired it past a sprawled Lundqvist at 7:42.

Radulov made it 3-0 with some nice stickhandling, and dumping the puck past Lundqvist with 4:25 left.

The second period was played with a deliberate pace, with the Canadiens outshooting the Rangers 12-6. Price stopped a slap shot by Michael Grabner about 6 minutes in, and then made a glove save on Derek Stepan with 5:45 left.

With the Rangers' J.T. Miller off on a delay of game penalty for a faceoff infraction, the Canadiens started pressing on their first power play of the game. Lundqvist made a succession of saves in close with 2 1/2 minutes to go, stopping Lehkonen twice and then Plekanec once.

Montreal broke through when, off a faceoff to Lundqvist's right, Lehkonen got a pass from Brendan Gallagher and fired the puck over Lundqvist's left shoulder with 2:23 left in the period for his first career postseason goal.

It was the first power-play goal of the series. Both teams were 0 for 7 through the first two games, and the Rangers finished 0 for 3 in this game.

The Rangers' best chance early came when Oscar Lindberg's shot beat Price, but rang off the right post about 6 1/2 minutes into the first period. Price also made a nice glove save on Michael Grabner 2 1/2 minutes later.

The Canadiens had a flurry of chances after that.

First, Lundqvist had to make a flurry of saves after that. First, he stopped a tip-in attempt by Max Pacioretty at 9:21.

Less than a minute later Lundqvist stopped a wrist shot by Paul Byron, and after a giveaway by Chris Kreider, Byron's slap shot was denied by the Rangers' goalie. Dwight King then hit a shot off the crossbar with 8 1/2 minutes to go.

Price made a stop on an in-close attempt by Kevin Hayes with about 3 minutes remaining, and then a diving save on a backhand follow by Rick Nash seconds later.

NOTES: Rangers D Kevin Klein played after sitting out the first two games of the series. Klein missed 16 straight games due to an injury before playing in six of the last seven to close the regular season. ... D Andrei Markov appeared in his 86th playoff game, tying Yvon Lambert, Bert Olmstead and Peter Mahovlich for 40th place on the franchise list. Plekanec appeared in his 84th, tying Chris Nilan for 43rd. ... Canadiens D Brandon Davidson appeared in his first playoff game. ... Canadiens coach Claude Julien tied Alain Vigneault and Fred Shero for 14th place on NHL playoff coaching wins list at 63.

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