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Rangers Drop Game 3 to Habs at The Garden

New York trails series 2-1

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

The Rangers' recent playoff struggles at Madison Square Garden continued in Game 3 Sunday with a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens, who now lead their first-round best-of-seven series 2-1.

The loss was New York's sixth straight playoff defeat at home dating back to 2015.

Montreal capitalized on its power play twice, while the Rangers' went scoreless in three opportunities, and are now 0-for-10 with the man advantage through the first three games of the series.

"We have to find a way to execute on the ice and put together a 200-foot game, passing and obviously special teams have to be better," said J.T. Miller, who was called for a faceoff violation that led to Montreal's first goal on the power play by Artturi Lehkonen late in the second period. "We've been given a lot of power plays right now. Just have to find a way to at least get momentum off the power play instead of giving them momentum."

Video: MTL@NYR, Gm3: Skjei finds twine off deflection in 3rd

The Rangers struggled to generate much offensively, with the team's only goal coming off a blast from the point from defenseman Brady Skjei with 2:56 remaining in regulation with the game already out of reach.

New York fired just 21 shots on goaltender Carey Price, who allowed few rebounds and thus limited New York's second-chance opportunities.

"If you look at the shots, we don't get a lot of shots," said Ryan McDonagh, who finished with a team-high 22:17 of ice time. "A lot of one and done. Not making passes in the offensive zone, making hope plays. We can't do that at this time of the year. It's not going to work out. Teams are too tight defensively."

Montreal would extend its lead 7:42 into the third period. With Mats Zuccarello serving a double-minor for high-sticking, Alex Galchenyuk fed a pinching Shea Weber at the faceoff dot for the 2-0 lead on the power play.

Alexander Radulov capped the scoring for Montreal with a highlight-reel goal that saw the Russian fend off Kevin Hayes and tuck the puck past Henrik Lundqvist with one hand to put the visitors ahead by three.

Lundqvist said he and his teammates need to look in the mirror to change the tide of the series, which resumes Tuesday night at The Garden.

"I think it's important we start with ourselves and not look at what they are doing," said Lundqvist, who made 26 saves. "Let's start with ourselves. Yes, they are a good team. We have to give more at home, in the playoffs, or we aren't going to win. We need more; it's as simple as that."

Several key pieces to the Rangers' attack have been limited thus far this series, and coach Alain Vigneault said more was needed from the team's best players to swing the momentum back in their favor.

"They're playing very well defensively," Vigneault said of Montreal. "You have to give them a lot of credit. Structurally, they're very sound and at this time right now our best line is our fourth line. Our top players need to find their game. They obviously don't have it right now.

"We have another game on Tuesday," Vigneault later said. "You have to get yourself in a mental zone to execute. That's what we're going to work on tomorrow and Tuesday morning."

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