The New York Rangers were 17 seconds away for securing a 2-0 series lead on the road before heading back across the border, but Tomas Plekanec found a way to net an equalizer. The Rangers and Montreal Canadiens traded chances in overtime and the game ended when Alexander Radulov knocked a puck past Henrik Lundqvist. New York should be up 2-0, and the result will likely result in a change of personnel on defense. For more information check out Blueshirt Bullet Points.
With that in mind, here is a look at the Blueshirts’ performance through the lens of Game Score.
1.) Henrik Lundqvist | 2.40
Lundqvist is the reason why the Rangers had a chance to take a 2-0 lead in this series. The Blueshirts’ franchise player made 54 saves, his most overall in a playoff game, and was stellar under pressure.
It is a true shame that his defense let him down throughout the evening, but it is something he’s come to expect over the years. Lundqvist will take the loss to heart, but look for him to continue his stellar play as the series shifts to New York.
2.) Brendan Smith | 1.50
If Smith and Brady Skjei received their regular shift late in the third period there is a good chance the Rangers are up 2-0.
This wasn't a long shift issue. NYR went Holden-Staal, then McD-G, then Holden-Staal again. Skjei-Smith were intentionally skipped over.
— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) April 15, 2017
The reasoning for this will be interesting to hear. It would have been one thing had the pairing been tired, but in this situation, you need to have your rested shutdown pair on the ice.
Smith tallied an assist, a shot on goal and finished with a positive 5v5 Corsi rating, one of the few Rangers to do so. He once again brought a physical presence and played smart hockey, but for some reason, AV didn’t have him on the ice with a one-goal lead late in third.
3.) Michael Grabner | 0.91
Grabner broke out of a scoring drought against Montreal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The veteran winger tallied his first goal of the playoffs on a breakaway. It was one of the three shots on goal he rifled at Carey Price on the evening. Grabner has the potential to be an X-factor for the Rangers, and his speed is a big reason why.
Game 3 is on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.