Radulov helps Canadiens beat Rangers 3-1 for series lead

As a result of a 3-1 win, they own a 2-1 series advantage.

NEW YORK (AP) - Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Henrik Lundqvist made 54 saves and was stellar in defeat. Outside of that one blemish, it was a suffocating performance from the Canadiens.

"We can't afford any weak links and we didn't have any tonight".

Rookie Jimmy Vesey said the increased hitting and the tightness of the game has forced both teams to not pass on opportunities to send pucks on net. "We had some good looks". We played with a lot of confidence. The two teams went to the dressing room in the same spot they were before the opening puck drop with the visitors holding a 10-6 edge in shots on goal. "It's a pretty classic story of playoff hockey".

Zuccarello gave the Rangers their first lead of the night at 14:47 when he redirected Brendan Smith's shot-pass from the point into the net. Since the second period of Game 2, the Canadiens have outshot the Rangers 78-50.

"I think every little detail matters in this game", Lundqvist said.

I'm not sure if Lehkonen is a good chess player, but he's well on his way to becoming a grand master in hockey. "Obviously, they're going to find adjustments and we got to find what comes open next". "We were just practising on it if it's going to happen".

Lundqvist has a.955 save percentage after the first two games of the series.

NEW YORK-Claude Julien isn't resting on his laurels.

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While this was going on, Shea Weber made a decision to air out some disagreements with Rangers forward J.T. Miller. And finally on the 17th power play of the series between the two clubs, a goal was scored with a man-advantage as Artturi Lehkonen found space in the slot and buried a feed from Brendan Gallagher.

With Montreal leading 1-0, the Rangers' Mats Zuccarello was whistled for a double-minor for high-sticking 4:07 into the third. The trio was especially effective against the Rangers' third line of Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, and J.T. Miller, posting a +5/-1 line after Galchenyuk was added, compared to +3/-5 prior. "But it's the playoffs".

"We're definitely fighting it a bit, to say the least", NY captain Ryan McDonagh said. "You always remember, but we've done it so much that you're just kind of used to it", he said.

Several of Montreal's chances came from attempted tip plays but they weren't able to get one past Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers had won an NHL-best 28 road games this season, but are 20-16-4 at home.

Rangers lose to Montreal in Game 3, 3-1. So that's what we have to be aware of. Just ask John Tortorella and the United States World Cup of Hockey team.

Neither side expects the bruising play of the first two games to subside any time soon. But a knee injury in December and another one in January set him back considerably down the stretch.

- Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 16, 2017Let's see, the power play?

numberFire's models project Lundqvist to allow 2.6 goals and make 25.8 saves versus the Canadiens while having a 38.0 percent chance of winning.

The stars of the night were undoubtedly the Gallagher-Plekanec-Byron line, who came out of the gate on fire and sustained that high level throughout regulation and overtime, finishing with a +23/-11 Corsi line.