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game recap

Canadiens defeat Rangers for fifth straight win

Montreal 6-2-0 under coach Claude Julien

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens extended their winning streak to five games by defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Shea Weber, Artturi Lehkonen, Andrew Shaw and Jordie Benn scored for Montreal (37-21-8), which is 6-2-0 since Claude Julien took over as coach on Feb. 14. Max Pacioretty and Galchenyuk had two assists each. 

Carey Price made 26 saves for his fourth win in as many starts. He has allowed four goals on 112 shots over that span.

 

WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Rangers highlights

 

Montreal finished 3-0-0 against New York (41-22-2) this season.

"There's been a lot of talk of us probably matching in the first round [of the Stanley Cup Playoffs], so we wanted to come in here and play a strong game," Montreal center Alex Galchenyuk said. "We did."

The Canadiens had 35 shots on goal, the most they've had under Julien.

"We talked about it this week where defensively we got a little bit better, and now it was a matter of maybe better execution, managing the puck a little bit better and creating a little more offense," Julien said. "I thought we moved the puck fairly well tonight. We threw more pucks at the net than we have in a while and we had a nose for it. We really wanted to get pucks in deep and get our forecheck going, which I think is a strength of this group."

New York lost its fourth straight game at home (0-3-1). Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and Chris Kreider scored his 24th goal of the season. The Rangers play their next four games on the road.

"We were slow all over the ice, getting beat to pucks and letting them have all the plays they wanted," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "It was an easy game for them."

Shaw's goal, his 10th, put the Canadiens up 3-0 at 18:37 of the second period after Lundqvist lost sight of the puck as it went behind the net. Shaw scored on a wraparound.

Video: MTL@NYR: Weber banks the puck past Lundqvist

"I was coming around looking for someone in the slot and I realized he had no idea where the puck was," Shaw said. "Lucky one, I guess."

Kreider scored on his own rebound at 1:44 of the third period to cut Montreal's lead to 3-1.

Benn made it 4-1 with a low shot from the right point at 6:58. It was his first goal since getting traded to the Canadiens from the Dallas Stars on Feb. 27.

"Every line played great and [Price] played great," Galchenyuk said. "When that happens, it's tough to beat us."

Lehkonen scored on a one-timer from the right circle at 8:48 of the second period to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead.

Montreal took a 1-0 lead on Weber's 15th goal of the season at 12:51 of the first period.

"Playoffs are completely different, but for us in the regular season I think we take a lot out of being able to come into [Madison Square Garden] and get wins," Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. "If it's ever needed down the stretch, I think we have that confidence."

Video: MTL@NYR: Kreider cashes in on his own rebound

 

Goal of the game

Lehkonen had to one-time a pass into his feet from Phillip Danault while off-balance and in the right circle, his off side. He beat Lundqvist between his blocker and right pad.

Video: MTL@NYR: Lehkonen buries Danault's slick dish

 

Save of the game

Price made a timely blocker save on Oscar Lindberg's wrist shot from the right circle at 5:56 of the third period. Benn scored 62 seconds later.

Video: MTL@NYR: Price uses blocker to turn away Lindberg

 

Highlight of the game

Lundqvist stopped Shaw's shot from the right circle with his mask and thought the puck fell in front of him, so he dropped down to look for it. He said nobody told him where the puck was, so he didn't know Shaw got it until after he scored.

Video: MTL@NYR: Shaw grabs rebound, nets wraparound goal

 

Unsung performance of the game

Steve Ott and Andreas Martinsen, each playing his first games with Montreal after being acquired in trades this week, were impactful. Ott had an assist on Weber's goal and was credited with seven hits. Martinsen played physical and had two shots on goal.

 

They said it

"We had no execution. We couldn't make a pass tonight. That's all about individual preparation and going out there and getting yourself ready to execute. We didn't win a lot of puck battles, and that's on you to be ready and to compete for pucks. We didn't win a lot, and that's why we spent a lot of time in our zone. When we were in our zone, we couldn't make a 10-foot pass." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault

 

Need to know

Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov didn't play and is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury. … Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein missed his sixth straight game because of back spasms. He won't go on New York's upcoming road trip.

 
What's next

Canadiens: At the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, SUN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Canadiens top Rangers, 4-1, for fifth straight win

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