After listless Game 3 loss, Rangers face up-hill battle

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After listless Game 3 loss, Rangers face up-hill battle

"We're not overthinking this game, we know our strengths and we know what we need to do to win and that's what our whole focus is on right now".

Until Lehkonen's goal, the game was nearly a virtual replay of Games 1-2.

And, in doing so the Rangers - gasp - won a playoff game at Madison Square Garden, snapping a six-game losing streak dating to Game 2 of the 2015 Eastern Conference final against the Lightning.

Carey Price turned back 35 shots in helping Montreal tie the series.

Louis Blues are up two games to none in their respective Stanley Cup first-round series.

Going into the match up, chemistry was a decided question mark, as the four lines Vigneault placed on the game sheet had spent less time together at 5v5 combined (325 min) than the Montreal first line of Max Pacioretty-Phillip Danault-Alexander Radulov (442 min).

The Canadiens didn't given the Rangers much of a chance on Sunday, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 3.

"I thought it was a really good road game".

Vigneault thinks the Rangers can take it as a lesson when they go into Game 4 against the Canadiens at the Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG).

The series is now tied 1-1 as the teams head to NY for Game 3 on Sunday. We are only two games into the playoffs and the team has only a guaranteed 17 games to get to the top of the mountain but with every loss comes at least 60 more minutes of hockey, this will be an important metric to monitor for a team with a fifth franchise championship in mind.

The New York Rangers, will likely not find out.

NOTES: Rangers D Kevin Klein played after sitting out the first two games of the series.

Despite a strong 26-save performance from Henrik Lundqvist, New York dropped its second straight in the series, and its sixth straight playoff home game. "As far as minutes (played) go, we'll be fine, we've got young legs".

"We had a couple of times to get the puck out and they worked hard to keep them in".

With his two-point night, Radulov is now second in playoff scoring behind countryman Evgeni Malkin with five points and is a big reason the Canadiens hold a 2-1 series lead.

The Rangers have learned that the Habs have a difficult time catching up when they're playing hard and fast; this is the game they need to have if they want the control.

A melee broke out when Steve Ott flattened Zuccarello and it was the Rangers who seemed to get a lift from it as they tied the score 9:58 into the second.

NY coach Alain Vigneault also stressed he isn't thinking about the previous postseason struggles at home, including three losses to Tampa Bay in the East finals two years ago, and two to Pittsburgh in the first round last year. He didn't have a shot on goal, but he was Montreal's best faceoff performer winning six of his nine draws. Weber one-timed a feed from Alex Galchenyuk past Lundqvist to finish off a sequence that began with Jeff Petry knocking the puck off Rick Nash's stick in the defensive zone to start the counterattack.

Michael Grabner added New York's second in an empty net at 18:50 of the third.

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.

I'm all for letting the teams decide the outcome, but when blatantly obvious slashes and hacks are going uncalled, it gets a little out of hand.

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