Canadiens Clubbed, Rangers Roll a Seven vs. Montreal for 6th Straight Win

AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie

If you’re a Ranger fan and you like high scoring games, you got the best of both worlds at Madison Square Garden last night.

The Rangers scored four goals in a 4:10 span of the second period enroute to a 7-4 win over the Canadiens for their season high tying sixth straight win.

Chris Kreider scored a hat trick, Adam Fox had four assists, Artemi Panarin had three assists and Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists to highlight the scoresheet. Will Cuylle, Vincent Trocheck and Kappo Kakko also scored goals. The Rangers tied a season high and it was the third time this season that they’ve scored 7 goals in a game.

Rangers are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and they now lead the Metro Division by eight points over second place Carolina.

38-year old Jonathan Quick made 30 saves and became the oldest Ranger goaltender to have four straight wins. Quick is now 13-4-2 this season and is three wins from tying Ryan Miller for the most wins by an American born goaltender.

Montreal had a 35-31 shot advantage, but the Rangers dominated the dots with a 42-26 face off advantage and they outhit the Canadiens, 27-17.

The Rangers were playing shorthanded after Blake Wheeler went out with what appeared to be a serious leg injury just past the midway point of the first period. The Rangers labeled it as a “lower body injury.” “You never want to see anyone but especially a teammate and a friend go down like that.” Zibanejad said. “You’re trying to make the best of that situation.”

For a little over half the game, the Rangers were like Ed Norton seeking Lulu as they were sleepwalking against a weak defensive team but suddenly, the game turned on a dime.

In the second period, I thought we really picked it up, just physicality and skating and started to deliver pucks to the net,” Coach Peter Laviolette said. “We were just too much on the perimeter in the first period.”

The Rangers trailed 1-0 after a blasé first period, but the eruption came just after the midway point of the second period.

Zibanejad skated out from behind the Canadiens net and found Kreider for a one timer from the left face off ciricle that beat Montreal goaltender Sam Montembault to tie the game at one at 11:09 of the second period.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead on Cuylle’s goal. Ryan Lindgren threw the puck towards the front of the net. With Montreal defenseman Kaiden Guhle draped all over him, Cuylle drove towards the net and was able to daintily tip it into the open net.

The goal scoring orgy continued a little over two minutes later as Zibanejad scored on a delayed penalty as he fired a one timer past Montembault for his 17th goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.

The final goal of the second period barrage came on the power play and snapped an 0 for 18 skid with the man advantage. Kreider was able to deflect Panarin’s shot past Montembault for his second of the game and a 4-1 lead. “We want it [power play] to work obviously, but we understand how important our power play is for our team and we need to score,” Zibanejad said.

With less than four minutes left in the second period, the Canadiens’ Juraj Slafkovsky blasted the puck over Quick’s glove, but the Rangers still had a 4-2 lead after two.

In the third, Trocheck took a pass from Panarin and wristed one past Montembault to restore the three goal lead. Alexis Lafreniere was in front, but Trocheck was credited with his 16th goal of the season less than five minutes into the third period.

To their credit, the Canadiens would not go down easily.

Cole Caufield was credited with the first of his two-goal night after the puck hit the back boards and rebounded into the net off of Quick’s skate to make it a 5-3 Rangers lead, but just 1:06 later, Kreider would complete his hat trick.

Zibanejad stole the puck at center ice and broke in on a two on one and sent a beautiful feed to Kreider who tapped it into a wide open net for his 27th goal and his first hat trick of the season and 6th of his career.

Right place at the right time. I thought we had some good scoring chances and he’s a goal scorer, that what he [Kreider] does,” Zibanejad said about his linemate.

Kakko capped the Rangers scoring with a strong drive to the net that resulted in his 6th goal of the season. The just turned 23-year old is playing well on a line with Cuylle and Jonny Brodzinski. It’s no coincidence that the Rangers are 9-4 since Kakko returned from injury last month. “Jonny’s line in the second period was much more noticeable,” said Laviolette. “Kappo was noticeable all night. He was trying to get on the attack and moving north and moving forward with the puck. That line contributed again.”

Now it’s onto the Islanders on Sunday at Met Life Stadium.

Adam Fox is anxious but realizes, it’s just another game in the standings. “I think the outdoor game is going to be a fun experience for everyone, still a big two points,” Fox said. “We’re trying to keep this [win streak] going and also trying to soak in that experience and have fun with it too.”

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media