NEW YORK -- Not even a late goal from Brady Skjei could spoil what for all intents was a perfect night in Manhattan.
Sure, Carey Price was just 2:56 away from a sixth career postseason shutout, but the All-Star netminder will hardly lose sleep over the tardy tally.
"It's an ideal road game for sure. I thought we played pretty tight, and as a unit," described the 29-year-old, who made 20 saves for the win. "We played with a lot of confidence."
Video: MTL@NYR, Gm3: Price stops Hayes, lays out to cover up
How's this for confidence?
Through just over 43 minutes of play, the Habs held the Rangers to 12 shots on goal, while staying perfect on the penalty kill in Round 1. To date, the Habs have stymied the Blueshirts 10 times with the man advantage.
Oh, and they also added a pair of their own on the power play.
"I thought it was a really good road game. It wasn't mistake free, but no games are," underlined head coach Claude Julien. "I thought our guys were really focused from start to finish. I thought we did a good job defensively and offensively, and our special teams were very good tonight too. Power play goals -- we scored a couple of those -- but our penalty kill units did a great job as well. We had a solid performance from all of our guys. To win in the playoffs, you can't afford any weak links at any time."
While weak links are few and far between at the moment, the Habs are instead enjoying no shortage of bright spots heading into Game 4.
There was Artturi Lehkonen netting his first career NHL playoff goal, Shea Weber notching his first as a Hab -- both on the PP -- and Radulov putting forth just a monster three-point night, dominating the ice with six shots, two assists, seven hits, and a one-handed (!) goal.
Video: MTL@NYR, Gm3: Radulov nets nifty one-handed goal
Credit the lingering confidence boost from Game 2's dramatic comeback win in OT.
Having been just 18 seconds away from a 2-0 series deficit on Friday, the Habs now hold the series lead 2-1.
"It was a great boost, for sure. We really needed that first win at home, and when you see those goals that Pleky and Radu scored [on Friday], it gets you pumped," explained Lehkonen. "Every game is a different story -- we had a good one tonight, but now we've got to build off it and focus on the next one."
Indeed, although the Habs are now halfway there in their first round series, nothing has been won yet, and the Rangers are in it for a reason.
"It's a best of seven series -- the first to four games," stressed Radulov, who leads the Habs this spring with 5 playoff points. "We can enjoy the moment tonight, but then get ready for the next one. Nothing's done yet, so we have to prepare. The next game is going to be huge. They're going to come out hard again so we have to play the same way, but with even more effort -- play good as a team."