Montreal Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher slides in on New York Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during second period in game two of the NHL Eastern Conference final Stanley Cup playoff action in Montreal

Montreal Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher slides in on New York Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during second period in game two of the NHL Eastern Conference final Stanley Cup playoff action in Montreal

Lundqvist shuts door as Habs head to New York down 2-0

Martin St. Louis scored in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves as the New York Rangers made it two in a row at the Bell Centre with a 3-1 victory over the Carey Price-less Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final 2-0 heading back to New York for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Sunday.

MONTREAL — Martin St. Louis scored in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves as the New York Rangers made it two in a row at the Bell Centre with a 3-1 victory over the Carey Price-less Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final 2-0 heading back to New York for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Sunday.

St. Louis scored a day after he and his teammates attended the funeral of his mother, who died suddenly just before Mother’s Day. The Rangers have rallied around the grieving veteran and have won five in a row since her death.

New York’s Rick Nash also scored while Ryan McDonagh added a goal and an assist to give the defenceman six points in the opening two games of the series.

Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which outshot New York 41-30.

“It’s been an emotional weekend,” said St. Louis. “I’ll definitely never forget this weekend for many reasons, but I think the grieving process will still take a while.

“But that stuff is behind me. Tonight, we wanted to make sure we’d have the emotion we’d need to win this game because we knew they would come out hard, especially rallying, losing their best player, so I though we answered.”

The Canadiens had a shaky Dustin Tokarski playing his first career NHL playoff game in goal in place of Price, the Olympic gold medallist who hurt his right knee in the series opener when he was crashed into by Chris Kreider.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Tokarski. “There was a lot of adrenaline. You grow up as a kid wanting to play in the playoffs, and I got the opportunity and just came up a bit short.”

Coach Michel Therrien said he opted for Tokarski over regular back-up Peter Budaj because of the youngster’s record of winning championships at the junior and AHL levels.

“He’s a winner,” said Therrien. “I thought he played well. We talked to Peter and he reacted as a pro. He’s a good teammate.”

At the other end, Therrien said Lundqvist was the difference.

“I though we played well, but the only reason we lost was Lundqvist. He stole that game,” said Therrien.

The Canadiens rebounded from a listless 7-2 thumping in the opener with one of their better games of the playoffs, but some bounces went New York’s way and Lundqvist proved he has exorcised his Bell Centre demons with a nearly flawless game.

The high-paced action from the start between two of the league’s best skating teams had the 21,273 in the seats roaring for most of the game.

Montreal’s worst fears were realized in the first period, which it dominated while still falling behind 2-1.

New York coach Alain Vigneault also gave credit to Lundqvist.

“He’s the only reason we were still in the game,” he said. “They had total control of the pressure.

“A lucky bounce changed the dynamics of the game.”

A long period of sustained pressure produced the first goal as Lundqvist’s clearing attempt went off Pacioretty’s skate and into the net at 6:14.

But only 17 seconds later, the hockey gods gave it back to New York as McDonagh swiped a puck toward the net from the point and saw it go in off Josh Gorges’ leg and a goalpost.

The crowd was booing Kreider when he sent a pass across to the right side and Nash’s one-timer went in off the midsection of Tokarski, who was late getting across. It was the second goal in as many games and second of the playoffs for Nash.

Tokarski had no chance as St. Louis wired a shot from the slot on a power play inside the post at 8:03 of the middle frame.

The Rangers played a thorough defensive game in the third to prevent a comeback.

“The Canadiens were coming wave after wave in the first period,” said St. Louis. “If it wasn’t for Lundqvist, there might have been a different result after the first.

“He gave us time to find our legs. The goal by Mac was a big one. It calmed everyone down and allowed us to regroup.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding student loan payments that officials will never be able to collect. Recently released spending documents show the government won't collect $203.5 million in debts from 34,240 students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan

VANCOUVER — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

MADISON, Wis. — States asked the federal government this week to withhold… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Most Read