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Rangers Blank Habs for First Win of the Season

Lundqvist Records Career Shutout No. 62

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers turned the page quickly on Saturday's loss in Toronto and bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Montreal to get into the win column for the first time this season.

Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced while Brady Skjei and Mika Zibanejad provided the offense to snap out of the two-game malaise to start the regular season.

"It was very important to bounce back for all of us and also the way we won the game," said Lundqvist, who with his 62nd career shutout passed Hall of Famer Turk Broda for 16th on the all-time list. "This is how we have to play; you have to do every little thing right. It's such a big difference to play in a game where everyone knows what's happening out there."

Good fortune was on Lundqvist and the Rangers' side early, as Montreal appeared to score twice in the opening frame only for video review to erase both tallies. 

Andrew Shaw's alleged goal was overturned after it was determined he kicked the puck into the net, while the second goal was erased on a successful goaltender interference challenge.

The good bounces kept coming for New York, who took the lead on Skjei's first of the season with 2:35 left in the opening frame. The defenseman's centering pass from behind the net caromed off Shea Weber's skate and past Carey Price to give New York its first lead of the regular season.

"Today in the first 10 (minutes), maybe we were trying to get going a little bit and then we got two calls there that were the correct calls but it definitely helped us to settle down a little bit," Lundqvist said. "Then we got the first goal and I think it really helped our game to settle things down and to play a smart game."

Video: MTL@NYR: Zibanejad slips a wrist shot past Price

Zibanejad would double the lead at 9:13 of the third when he converted on a Pavel Buchnevich pass from behind the net for his fourth goal of the season.

"I try to shoot and the puck seems to go in right now," said Zibanejad, who is tied for second in the NHL in goals this season. "I just am trying to place myself in a good spot out there and the guys are finding me and the puck seems to be going in. That's just the mentality. You just have to keep shooting when you are hot, I guess."

Vigneault opted to scratch defenseman Brendan Smith and rookie Filip Chytil, and went with seven defensemen, with Nick Holden and Steven Kampfer making their season debuts. 

Video: MTL@NYR: Lundqvist stones Plekanec to keep lead

While it was just the third game of the season, Vigneault and his players stated the importance of getting that first win to get more positivity into the room that still features many new faces.

"It's big. It's nice obviously," said Marc Staal, who logged 19:08 alongside Ryan McDonagh. "A big difference going into Tuesday 1-2 rather than 0-3. So it's always good to get the first one of the season and get that feeling in the room, especially when you've got some new guys."

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