Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
The New York Rangers evened the series with a 2-1 Game 4 win Tuesday night over the Montreal Canadiens.
The first-round matchup is now tied 2-2, effectively creating a three-game series for a spot in the second round.
Jesper Fast and Rick Nash scored the goals for New York, with the latter getting the game-winner in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist did the rest with another solid showing in the postseason.
ESPN Stats and Info noted the change from past games at Madison Square Garden:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
The @NYRangers win Game 4 over the Canadiens, snapping a 6-game home losing streak in the playoffs.
Series is now tied 2-2. https://t.co/Rup7yq4pMu
4/19/2017, 1:48:00 AM
Torrey Mitchell earned the one goal for Montreal, with Alexander Radulov tallying his sixth point in the last three games, but it wasn’t enough to earn a third straight victory.
While the Rangers continue to struggle on the power play—now 0-of-12 on the series—the penalty kill was much better than it was in Game 3, allowing zero goals in three opportunities.
The defense overall was better than it had been all series, keeping the puck away from Lundqvist. This was one of the toughest stops he made all night:
He finished with 23 saves while only allowing one goal when the Canadiens had a 2-on-1 advantage.
Carey Price stopped 32 of the 34 shots against him for Montreal but was far from his best in Game 4.
After a fortunate bounce helped Fast put the Rangers on top in the first period, the Canadiens were able to even things up with some beautiful passing:
Nash was able to put the Rangers back on top with the only goal in the second period:
In close, Rick’s tossing that in 10/10 times. #MTLvsNYR #StanleyCup https://t.co/v6xsdvWi1K
4/19/2017, 12:26:32 AM
As Eric Engels of Sportsnet noted, the Canadiens were lucky to still be in the game:
Eric Engels @EricEngels
That was Montreal’s worst period of the series, but they’re within a goal.
4/19/2017, 12:45:35 AM
The visitors became more aggressive in the third period but struggled to get many legitimate chances at the net. Aside from one shot off the post, the Habs couldn’t get anything past Lundqvist and were forced to settle for a loss.
This success represents a major change for the Rangers in New York City, where they have struggled all season and looked flat in Game 3. Winning on the road is valuable in the playoffs, but it’s near impossible to advance without first getting wins at home.
The series will now return to Montreal Thursday for Game 5, with both teams realizing one loss puts their back against the wall.
Considering the Rangers have been surprisingly better on the road and already have a win at the Bell Centre this series, they could be confident going into the next battle.