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Rangers shut out Canadiens in Game 1

Henrik Lundqvist makes 31 saves, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner score

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers made the most of a goal from an unexpected source to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs on a winning note.

Lundqvist had 31 saves, and Tanner Glass scored in the first period to lift the Rangers to a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Bell Centre on Wednesday.

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Canadiens highlights | RELATED: Complete New York vs. Montreal series coverage]

 

It was Lundqvist's 10th career playoff shutout in his 116th consecutive postseason start for the Rangers.

"I think this was one of our better games as a team in a long time," said Lundqvist, whose 56 playoff wins lead active NHL goalies. "We had a plan going into this game how we needed to play and we executed it perfectly. Montreal is one of the better teams in their transition game. A lot of games we played up here, they beat us on odd-man rushes and breakaways. And today, we get the early goal and after that we played a smart game."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Friday in Montreal.

Glass scored one goal in 11 regular-season games for the Rangers after being recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on March 5.

"This is such a tough building to win in, and it's important for us to have a good first period and a good first few shifts, and we were able to weather their storm early, and that first goal was big for us," Glass said.

Michael Grabner scored into an empty net to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead with 1:10 remaining. It was his first NHL playoff goal since May 11, 2013, for the New York Islanders.

Video: NYR@MTL, Gm1: Lundqvist shuts out Habs in Game 1 win

"We knew it was going to be a challenge," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "It's a talented group of forwards, a talented back end that plays with a lot of speed, so we tried to make sure we had good gap and didn't allow them to carry it across the blue line a lot. I thought we had good structure in our own zone, blocked a lot of shots, and it's the start of a long, challenging series here."

Carey Price made 29 saves for Montreal, which finished in first place in the Atlantic Division. 

Glass gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead when he scored an unassisted goal 9:50 into the game.

"He got a lot of wood on it, it was a pretty good shot," Price said. "I didn't really think at the time it was going to be the difference. You've got to give that team credit, they played pretty well, and I thought [Lundqvist] played outstanding."

Montreal outshot New York 16-5 in the first period.

Video: NYR@MTL, Gm1: Price recovers to turn aside Lindberg

 

Goal of the game

Glass shot a backhand over Price's left shoulder from the right faceoff dot after intercepting the puck when Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec drew it back between his legs on a faceoff.

"I was thinking pass to the point, but then I had a second there and I just wanted to get it up, and it was lucky to go in," Glass said.

Video: NYR@MTL, Gm1: Glass picks the corner off a faceoff

 

Save of the game

Lundqvist made a left-pad save on Canadiens right wing Artturi Lehkonen's shot with 7:10 left in the third period after it hit off Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.

Video: NYR@MTL, Gm1: Lundqvist shuts the pads on Martinsen

 

Highlight of the game

Lundqvist slid to his left to make the save on Montreal defenseman Shea Weber's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle with 4:26 left in the second period and the Canadiens on the power play.

Video: NYR@MTL, Gm1: Lundqvist stones Weber with shoulder

 

Unsung performance of the game

Forward Jesper Fast was plus-2 and was one of three Rangers with five hits (Girardi, defenseman Brady Skjei).

 
They said it

"He's got a great attitude. He's a great role model for a lot of our forwards the way he pursues the puck so hard, plays the game the full length of the ice, and competes all over the ice and just does a real good job of trying to win his battle and beat his guy across from him. It really sets a tone for all the group." -- Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh on forward Tanner Glass

 

"Little details here and there made the difference tonight ... The first period, we had a great first and you end up coming out of there down 1-0, yet you should have been up 1-0. So those are things that happen in the playoffs, and what you do is you keep your composure, you face the adversity that you have along the way, and you go back to work." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

 

"[Henrik Lundqvist has] been a phenomenal goalie his whole career. You know you're expecting him to be at his 'A' game just like our goalie was at his 'A' game. So both goaltenders were great, we know it's going to be a fun, long series, and this has the mark of being a great series. Obviously, lower scoring when you have great goaltending, but we have to continue to generate those big opportunities like we did." -- Canadiens center Steve Ott

 

Need to know

Glass scored his second goal and got his third point in his 61st NHL playoff game. It was Lundqvist's first playoff shutout since a 1-0 win against Montreal in Game 6 to clinch the 2014 Eastern Conference Final for New York at Madison Square Garden.

 

What's next

Game 2 of Eastern Conference First Round at Bell Centre on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG) 

 

Video: Lundqvist, Rangers blank Habs to win Game 1, 2-0

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