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Falling behind early

The Canadiens couldn't solve Henrik Lundqvist on Wednesday night, falling in Game 1 at the Bell Centre

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl /

MONTREAL - The Canadiens didn't get off to the start they'd hoped for in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Rangers.

Alain Vigneault's squad came into the Bell Centre and stole Game 1 on Wednesday night, securing a 2-0 victory on the strength of a first-period marker by Tanner Glass that ultimately proved to be the game-winner, in addition to a late empty-netter courtesy of Michael Grabner that capped the scoring.

Henrik Lundqvist was simply unbeatable between the pipes, turning aside all 31 shots the Canadiens fired in his direction - 16 of which came during the opening 20 minutes of play alone when Claude Julien's troops came roaring out of the gate looking to take control of the contest.

That never happened, though, and the former Vezina Trophy winner was the primary reason why.

"We've got to give that team credit. They played pretty well. I thought Hank played outstanding," said Price, who watched his counterpart steal the show to post the 10th postseason shutout of his career. 

Video: Price on the Tanner Glass first-period goal

Surrendering the game's opening goal wasn't a recipe for success either, of course. 

"He got a lot of wood on it. It was a pretty good shot," said Price, on the subject of Glass' backhand strike. "I didn't really think at the time it was going to be the difference."

It's not as if the Canadiens didn't have their fair share of high-quality chances to light the lamp, but things didn't come easy against a Rangers contingent that did their best to lock the contest down for good once they took the lead.

"It feels tight out there. We've still got to bear down and dig down, work through the coverage and make sure we get to the net and get some chances," said Andrew Shaw, who dished out three of the Canadiens' 53 hits on Wednesday night during a rather physical affair. "We were tight defensively on them as well. They got a goal, and we were chasing them the rest of the game."

Video: Shaw on the pace of playoff hockey

While the Canadiens certainly have every reason to be disappointed with the outcome of Game 1, playoff veteran Steve Ott isn't about to let the defeat get him or the rest of his teammates down so early in the series.

"It's a percentage-based game. [Lundqvist is] a great goaltender, but when you're putting up quality scoring chances, you're going to find a way to score goals," explained Ott. "For us, the mindset is clean a few things up, continue to pound pucks and get through that traffic, and we'll find ways to score. We play that brand of hockey. We should be on the right side of things."

Price is taking a similar approach into the next installment of the series on Friday night.

"It's just one game. It's a seven-game series. We aren't going to win 16 straight games," said Price. "We would like to, but we got what we got, and we're going to move forward."

With that in mind, the Canadiens will get back to work on Thursday morning at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard to try to find ways to tie things up before the series shifts to Manhattan over the weekend.

"We aren't necessarily going to make changes. It's more about adjustments and being better in certain areas of our game," said Julien. "Nothing surprised us [in Game 1]. We expected this type of game. We expected a tight series and that's the way it is right now."

Video: Julien's postgame press conference - Game 1

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