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Rangers' bid for eight straight falls short

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

MONTREAL (AP) -- Carey Price made 17 saves for his second straight shutout, and the Montreal Canadiens ended the Rangers' seven-game winning streak with a 4-0 win on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

Brian Gionta scored twice and Erik Cole and Tomas Plekanec each had a power-play goal and assist for Montreal, which is on a 4-1-1 run. Scott Gomez had two assists.

Price, who was rested for the third time this season in Thursday's road loss to the New York Islanders, extended his shutout streak to 132 minutes, 30 seconds - including a 33-save effort in a 4-0 win over Buffalo on Wednesday. It was his 14th NHL regular-season shutout.

Rangers backup Martin Biron lost for the first time four starts. He stopped 27 shots after entering with a 0.95 goals-against-average and .962 save percentage.

New York, which had a seven-game winning spurt from Oct. 3-17, 2009, fell short of its longest streak since an eight-game run midway through the 1974-75 season.

Cole gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal of the season on a power play 3:45 in. He got behind Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto to chase down Yannick Weber's long lead pass off the boards before firing a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot into the top left corner.

Gionta appeared to catch Biron by surprise with a shot from the right side for his first goal of the game 8:12 into the second.

Biron made a glove save early in the third to deny Gomez, a former Rangers forward whose regular-season goal drought reached 40 games.

Plekanec drove a slap shot from the point past Biron for the Canadiens' second power-play goal 7:05 into the third to increase the lead to 3-0.

Gionta scored his second of the game and seventh of the season at 13:47.

NOTES: It was only the third time this season that New York trailed going into the third period. ... The Rangers' longest winning streak is 10 games, set during the 1939-40 season and matched in 1972-73. ... Gionta's shot smashed a plastic buckle on Biron's right pad to pieces on its way into the net. ... Gomez scored his last goal against Biron in a 2-0 win over the Rangers on Feb. 5.

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