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Montréal
Canadiens
41-30-7-4
New York
Rangers
27-40-7-8

game recap

Montréal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 1 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Montréal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 1 FINAL
Montréal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 1

NEW YORK (AP) _ Montreal's Jose Theodore was so determined to snap his long losing streak, he treated his latest start like it was a postseason contest.

It might be the closest the New York Rangers come to the playoffs.

Theodore made 31 saves in putting his five-game losing run behind him, and Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists, helping the Canadiens beat the Rangers 4-1 Monday night.

Since playing in this year's All-Star game, Theodore, the NHL MVP and the Vezina Trophy winner two seasons ago, was 0-5 with an .873 save percentage.

``Sometimes when a team is losing, you just try to do too much,'' Theodore said. ``I took a different focus and approached it like a playoff game.''

The Canadiens, tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference, lead the 12th-place Rangers by 13 points. With 20 games remaining, it appears New York will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight year.

``There can't be anybody in that room who doesn't know where we are,'' Rangers coach Glen Sather said. ``It is the point now where we can't lose any more hockey games.''

Montreal, with 19 games left, stretched its lead at the playoff cutoff to five points over Buffalo. Mike Ribeiro had a goal and assist, and Patrice Brisebois and Jason Ward also scored for the Canadiens, who won for the second time in seven games (2-5).

``We had 12 points between Buffalo and us and now they're right behind us,'' Koivu said. ``We haven't played that bad, but we haven't been able to win the games.''

Jaromir Jagr scored for New York, outscored 11-4 in two losses since beating the Islanders. The Rangers have dropped five of six and are 4-13-2 in their last 19.

``We obviously didn't have it the last two games,'' forward Bobby Holik said. ``We didn't even come close to being competitive.''

Rangers fans booed struggling goaltender Mike Dunham early, then began chants of ``Fire Sather!'' at the beleaguered coach and general manager.

``This was a big game,'' Koivu said. ``I wouldn't say that they're done because they have so much talent, and if they get it going they are going to be tough to beat. At the same time, they only have 18 or 19 games left and the other teams are going to win some games, too.''

It didn't take long for Dunham to give fans something to really be upset about.

Koivu took a pass from Jan Bulis while gliding untouched down the slot and let go an unscreened shot that beat Dunham 1:31 in.

The Rangers didn't get the puck across center ice until 1:20 had elapsed.

It took until the closing minute of the first period for the Canadiens to double the lead. Pierre Dagenais made a quick pass from behind the net to Ribeiro, who scored with 5.3 seconds left in the period on Montreal's ninth shot.

Most of the second period belonged to the Rangers, who got 17 shots on Theodore, but scored only once _ despite having a pair of two-man advantages that each lasted more than a minute.

In contrast, the Canadiens also scored once in the period even though they only got five shots, none in the first 12:42.

New York managed two shots during its first five-on-three that lasted 1:23. The Rangers took advantage of the second one that came with less than nine minutes left.

When Andreas Dackell and Steve Begin were sent off 24 seconds apart, Jagr stretched his points streak to seven games.

He banged in a rebound of Holik's shot at 13:28 to bring the Rangers to 2-1 and give him six goals and six assists during his scoring spurt.

The Canadiens were on a delayed penalty when Begin streaked in alone to record their first shot of the second period. The advantage grew to a five-on-three when Brian Leetch was sent off 51 seconds later.

Just 25 seconds into the two-man advantage, Brisebois ripped a shot that trickled through Dunham's pads.

Ward scored his first goal in 31 games when he deflected in Koivu's drive 3:01 into the third period.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:31
MTL
Saku Koivu (11) ASST: Jan Bulis (14), Stephane Quintal (3)
1 - 0 MTL
19:54
MTL
Mike Ribeiro (16) ASST: Pierre Dagenais (8), Michael Ryder (29)
2 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
13:28
NYR
PPG - Jaromir Jagr (23) ASST: Bobby Holik (27), Brian Leetch (21)
2 - 1 MTL
16:02
MTL
PPG - Patrice Brisebois (4) ASST: Saku Koivu (29), Mike Ribeiro (36)
3 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
03:01
MTL
Jason Ward (2) ASST: Saku Koivu (30), Francis Bouillon (9)
4 - 1 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
11:43
NYR
Jed Ortmeyer  Interference
2nd Period
03:49
MTL
Pierre Dagenais  Hooking - Obstruction against  Mark Messier
04:26
MTL
Jason Ward  Tripping against  Alex Kovalev
12:00
MTL
Andreas Dackell  Slashing against  Dale Purinton
12:24
MTL
Steve Begin  Hooking against  Martin Rucinsky
13:54
NYR
Tom Poti  Fighting (maj) against  Francis Bouillon
13:54
MTL
Francis Bouillon  Fighting (maj) against  Tom Poti
14:46
NYR
Martin Rucinsky  Hooking - Obstruction against  Joseph Juneau
15:37
NYR
Brian Leetch  Hi-sticking against  Mike Ribeiro
3rd Period
06:40
NYR
Brian Leetch  Hooking against  Andreas Dackell
08:42
NYR
Boris Mironov  Tripping - Obstruction against  Steve Begin
13:14
MTL
Mike Ribeiro  Hooking against  Brian Leetch
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 31EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .969SH: 0 - 0
Mike Dunham
SA: 21TOI: 60:00
Saves: 17EV: 11 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .810SH: 0 - 0