The Rangers rallied from a three-goal deficit but ultimately fell, 5-4, to the Canadiens in Montreal.
After trailing 3-0 in the first period, New York scored twice in the middle frame and added two more in the third, but Phillip Danault's second goal of the night just 2:37 after Brady Skjei tied the game at 4, proved to be the difference.
Montreal jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 13:15 into the contest on goals from Paul Byron, Alex Galchenyuk and Danault. The Canadiens outshot New York, 19-2, after 20 minutes.
But whatever was said between periods by Alain Vigneault was heard, as the Rangers turned the game around in the second period beginning with Pavel Buchnevich's third goal in two games. With the Rangers on the power play, Buchnevich one-timed a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk at the point and found its way through a screen by Rick Nash to get the Rangers on the board.
Nash scored a goal of his own at 12:20 that got New York back to within a goal, but Max Pacioretty answered just 2:18 later to put the hosts back up by a pair.
The Rangers, though, answer with two quick goals early in the third period. Mika Zibanejad netted his seventh of the season 2:25 into the final period, and Brady Skjei's long shot from the point deflected in off a Canadien and into the net to tie the game, 4-4.
But Danault's second of the night at 9:37 of the third broke the tie and ended the rally for the Rangers.
Ondrej Pavelec made his second consecutive start and made 38 saves in the loss.