National Hockey League playoffs: Defending Cup champions win opener with Fleury in goal

Hazel Gray
April 15, 2017

The Rangers turned the tables in the first half of the second frame, but Price held Montreal in the game.

The New York goalie survived a shaky first period to make 31 saves in the Rangers' 2-0 victory Wednesday night in their playoff opener. "It was a lot of fun and we got to do a better job next game for our fans". I just feel like maybe they won a bit more battles than us and that was the difference in the game.

"This is what we worked for the whole season and what every player and coach works for, to get an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup".

It will be up to the Canadiens to come up with an answer in Game 2 on Friday night at Bell Centre, or risk heading to NY down two games in the best-of-seven series. A 2-0 loss in game one of the playoffs to the New York Rangers does not have him reaching to pull the alarm.

Montreal went 3-0-0 against Lundqvist and the Rangers in the regular season, continuing the trend of the last two seasons in which Carey Price has shone against the Blueshirts while Lundqvist laboured. "I'm just focused on this series and Game 1".

"I thought he played a real good game", Vigneault said. "We played well enough to win. We all understand that".

The New York Rangers don't mind starting the Stanley Cup playoffs on the road.

Henrik Lundqvist had 31 saves, and Tanner Glass scored in the first period to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round at Bell Centre on Wednesday.

The Montreal Canadiens can't afford to lose two games at home and expect to truly still win this series. "You've got to make your own bounces and breaks".

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The action continued with plenty of chances, but no one could get the puck into the net. "At the end of past year we could walk away and say we were a hard team to play against", Hynes said. "That was a good break for them".

But neither could the Canadiens, who had some clean chances but were up against a NY defense that did a good job of limiting rebounds.

In all, NY has speed and several players in the lineup who can score.

"You let Lundqvist see the puck, I don't care who [shoots], he's going to stop it", Don Cherry said Wednesday. "That's what we're trying to do". What you need to do is keep your composure. We're confident we can contribute offensively as well as defensively and physically.

"We had a plan going into this game how we needed to play and we executed it perfectly. And if it's not that, we're confident that the depth we have will help along the way". The Canadiens are looking to a avenge a six-game loss in the first round to NY in 2014. The same can't be said for blueliner Alexei Emelin, who went down last week with a lower body injury.

Devils: After their worst season in almost 30 years, second-year coach John Hynes said the Devils (28-40-14) didn't compete as hard as they did a year ago. In the Rangers' case, the team has several players who have the ability to grab a goal at any given time.

The Canadiens squandered a power-play opportunity in the second period when Alex Galchenyuk was penalized for a faceoff violation and a penalty to Brendan Gallagher gave the Rangers a 5-on-3 advantage.

If Lundqvist can mimic that performance in game two he should be beaming and ready to continue to play well.

Other reports by VgToday

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