It was a no-show on Broadway.
The Rangers looked like a completely different team than the one that blew a two-goal lead in Game 2 and were outclassed throughout Game 3.
Blue Jackets 5, Penguins 4 • Markus Nutivaara, William Karlsson and Boone Jenner each had a goal and an assist and host Columbus held on to beat Pittsburgh, avoiding a sweep in the series.
According to the NHL, Plekanec's tally was the latest playoff game-tying goal in Canadiens history, beating a Jacques Lemaire goal in 1975 with 24 seconds remaining.
"We're definitely fighting it a little bit, to say the least", NY captain Ryan McDonagh said. We just have to keep that up and hopefully our luck will change. Not bad decisions; just not the right decision at that time.
If a strong effort from Lundqvist was a near given, the rest of the Rangers knew they had to be a much better team than they were in Game 3, quicker to the puck, stronger on the forecheck, smarter. "We let it all go and put it behind us, and I thought we had a pretty good performance tonight". "We've gotta focus on one game and get that next one". "That's the lovely thing about playoff hockey is a series can change on a dime". It's a doctrine ingrained in the skulls of every player that skates over the newly painted Stanley Cup Playoffs logo. The Rangers last won a home playoff game in Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference final. Their passivity had turned the neutral zone into a raceway for their opponents and turned execution into an impossibility at either end of the ice.
By the first period's halfway mark, the Canadiens had seemed to withstand New York's push and the teams exchanged opportunities.
It was unquestionably the Rangers' best start to a game in this series, notching the first few scoring chances and rocking the Canadiens back on their heels and into second place in the race for loose pucks.
Minnesota Wild's Jared Spurgeon (46) controls the puck against St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the third period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Friday, April 14, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.
"Personally I'd rather make a mistake when I'm trying, when I'm skating with the puck and trying to make a play than a mistake when I'm passive and I get the puck stripped from me", Zibanejad said.
Game 3 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Mission accomplished - and just at the right time.
"We had to", said Rick Nash, who scored the game victor at the 4:28 mark of the second period. The series will go back to Montreal tied 2-2. Montreal's 23-14-4 road record was fifth best in the National Hockey League.
Julien said he would reserve judgment on what he's seeing from his top line. Henrik Lundqvist stopped Andrew Shaw and Torrey Mitchell on breakaways, but Mitchell tied the score at 18:37.
"I think that will be the message I'm sending to the group tonight", Stepan said Tuesday morning.
"We didn't have a very good second period, that's what hurt us the most", Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said.
No fire followed. There wasn't even smoke. He didn't feel there was enough chatter on the bench at that time, which Ryan McDonagh says isn't an issue at present.
The Rangers have their backs against the wall heading into this one as they know they are in deep trouble if they can't get a victory here and would have to win three in a row including two in Montreal.