Sat, 04 Dec 2021

Rangers edge Habs for first win of season

Field Level Media
17 Oct 2021, 12:40 GMT+10

Alexis Lafreniere scored the tiebreaking goal with 10:10 remaining in front of his family and friends as the New York Rangers beat the host Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Saturday night.

Lafreniere, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020, played in his native Montreal for the first time and snapped a 1-1 tie in impressive fashion.

Defenseman Adam Fox moved the puck up the ice to Mika Zibanejad, who drew two defenders to him near the left circle. Lafreniere kept pace with Zibanejad and converted the cross-ice pass through the slot into an easy tap-in while being cross-checked in the chin by Montreal defenseman David Savard.

Lafreniere, who turned 20 on Monday, grew up in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache. He scored his 13th career goal much to the delight of his parents and other family members who watched his 59th career game from a suite.

Lafreniere scored 26 seconds after Montreal's Jonathan Drouin tied the game with his second goal of the season.

Lafreniere led the Rangers with five shots and almost scored a second goal when Montreal goaltender Jake Allen made a pad save on him with 1:45 left.

Chris Kreider scored on the power play midway through the second period to open the scorxing. Kevin Rooney scored an empty-net tally as New York won a third straight game in Montreal for the first time since 1979.

Igor Shesterkin helped New York avoid three straight losses with a sparkling 31-save performance, including four on a power play shortly before Drouin scored.

Allen made 21 saves but the Canadiens lost their third straight. It is the first time since 1995-96 Montreal has begun a season with three straight defeats.

The Rangers took their first lead of the season when Kreider got his third goal of the season. Zibanejad's shot from near the right circle was stopped by Allen but caromed to Kreider, who was parked at the left side of the crease and banked it in off defenseman Alexander Romanov's right skate.

Shesterkin made two saves on long drives by Jeff Petry during a power play midway through the third.

Drouin tied the game when he was alone in the high slot and lifted a backhander into the net after getting a pass from behind the net by Christian Dvorak.

--Field Level Media

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