NHL Roundup: Rangers edge Canadiens 2-1; series tied 2-2


The Associated Press

NEW YORK — After a lackluster performance in a Game 3 loss, the New York Rangers came out aggressive early on Tuesday night. They managed the puck better and kept the pressure off their own net.

And now their series against Montreal is even.

Rick Nash and Jesper Fast scored, Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves and the Rangers beat the Canadiens 2-1 to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

“The guys were playing on their toes,” Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “They wanted to compete, wanted to battle and wanted the puck on their sticks.”

New York’s win also ended a six-game losing streak at home in the playoffs going back to the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.

“We needed this for so many reasons,” Lundqvist said. “It’s no secret we’ve been really disappointed with the way things have been going at home the past two years here in the playoffs, so we needed this win for this series, but also moving forward.”

Torrey Mitchell scored for Montreal and Carey Price made 30 saves.

“They were desperate tonight,” Price said of the Rangers. “They executed a pretty good game plan. You have to give that team credit, they played well tonight.”

Game 5 is Thursday night in Montreal before the series returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

“We came into MSG with a chance to even it out — make it a 2-2 series — that’s what we did — and now we go to Montreal and there’s a three game series,” Rangers forward Derek Stepan said.

The Rangers, who gave up the tying goal with 18 seconds left in the third period of Game 2 before losing in overtime, stopped Montreal in the final minutes in this one.

“After what happened in Montreal, you know for sure that the game is not over until it’s over,” Lundqvist said. “We worked really hard until the end, made some big plays, made blocks when we had to. I felt like we had a few more chances, but in the end it’s about finding a way to win.”

Sharks 7, Oilers 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored two goals and the San Jose Sharks rebounded from back-to-back shutouts in emphatic fashion and tied their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Blue Jackets 5, Penguins 4

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Markus Nutivaara, William Karlsson and Boone Jenner each had a goal and an assist and Columbus avoided a sweep in the best-of-seven playoff series.

Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson also scored for the Blue Jackets.

By Paul Wager

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