In the midst of a stirring comeback in front of a raucous crowd, it took the goal of the season to get the Rangers their biggest win yet.
Neal Pionk went for a 190-foot skate to score the go-ahead goal against Carey Price with 2:44 to play, and the Rangers, down by a pair late in the second period, came storming back to defeat the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3, on Tuesday night at a rollicking Madison Square Garden.
Video: MTL@NYR: Pionk goes coast to coast for beautiful goal
The Blueshirts won their fourth consecutive game, equaling the longest active winning streak in the National Hockey League, and at 7-7-1 have climbed back to the .500 mark following an 0-3 start.
"We're building something here," Kevin Hayes said. "We had a rough start and we're getting wins."
They had a rough start Tuesday night, too, falling behind just 23 seconds into the game, then down by 3-1 with less than three minutes to play in the second period. But Tony DeAngelo, Pavel Buchnevich, Pionk and Mika Zibanejad (shorthanded) each scored in the game's final 22:15, as the Rangers won for the second time this season when trailing after two periods. Montreal, fresh off a victory in Brooklyn on Monday night, had been 5-0-0 with the lead after 40 minutes.
But the play of the game - of the season so far - belonged to Pionk. With the teams skating four-a-side, the 23-year-old, second-year defenseman picked up a puck behind the Ranger net, put a spin move on Jonathan Drouin at the circle, threw it into high gear down the left wing and sprinted around Noah Juulsen, then finally cut to the front to stuff the puck past Price.