The Rangers were victorious in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. the Montreal Canadiens. For quotes and details from the game, check out Blueshirt Bullet Points. Here’s how the Rangers played through the lens of Game Score.
Henrik Lundqvist | 3.10
Henrik Lundqvist had a sensational performance for the Rangers in Game 1 vs. the Canadiens. Heading into the contest there were questions as to which goaltender would show up, and whether the Bell Centre would continue to be his personal house of horrors. It is odd because in the playoffs Hank has played well in Montreal with a career save percentage of .940.
Can we put the Bell Centre "house of horrors" narrative to rest? HL has a career .940 sv% in the playoffs there. Incl. a 4g dud in '14.
— Justin Rutherford (@tappingtheposts) April 13, 2017
Regardless, Lundqvist answered that question quickly putting aside 16 shots in the first period en route to a 31-save shutout. He only faced 15 shots over the final two periods but came up big when the Rangers needed him most, including an amazing save on Shea Weber in the third period.
"Oh, what a save by Lundqvist!"
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 13, 2017
Lundqvist’s performance helped get the Rangers off in the right direction, and they hope to improve to 9-3 in playoff series in which he wins Game 1.
Tanner Glass | 1.18
What can you say about Tanner Glass? The Rangers’ chief pugilist got the team off to a hot start by scoring a goal on a clear-sighted backhand shot against Carey Price off a faceoff. The odds of that type of shot going in is very low, even lower when you consider the shooter and even lower when you consider the goalie in net.
It was the unlikeliest of circumstances and typical playoff moment in which a random player becomes the hero. Overall, Glass was a positive player in his limited amount of ice time, and it was a pleasant surprise.
Brendan Smith | 1.15
Smith was the Rangers’ best defender of Game 1 and it was arguably one of his best games as a Blueshirt. Smith only logged 14:22 of ice time but was a factor whenever he was on the ice. He finished the game with four shots on goal, a blocked shot and a 5v5 Corsi differential of +12. Smith did a solid job closing gaps, skating the puck out of trouble and controlling the pace of play while he was on the ice.
5v5 Shot Attempt Spread, New York Rangers (2) vs Montreal Canadiens (0). I'd take Brendan Smith on my third pair next year, as you all know. pic.twitter.com/AeJKKT2q0W
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) April 13, 2017
His level of play should warrant a promotion to the second pairing, but it is understandable why Vigneault would want him and Brady Skjei out there when the fourth line is on the ice. Either way it was a strong Ranger playoff debut for Smith who deserves a contract for the upcoming season.
The Rangers square off with Montreal for Game 2 at 7:00 p.m. on Friday at the Bell Centre.