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How The Rangers Are Beating Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens came out swinging wild last night in Game 2 against the New York Rangers. They went fast and ferocious at the net turning in 41 shots. However, that was only good enough for one goal. The absence of Montreal’s star goalie, Carey Price, was felt, as the Rangers scored three goals to win.

How the Rangers beat Montreal is simple and it all comes down to the goalie advantage. Henrik Lundqvist blocked 40 of 41 shots to give his team a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.

Game 3 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden and the puck drops at 8 p.m. ET, but it does not matter where or when it is, because the goalie match up is going to be the same as Carey Price is set to be out for the whole series with an injury.

Montreal needs a shift in strategy but  they are not left with many options. The Canadiens could give Tokarski another shot. Though, if this game is any indication, he is simply not ready for this high level of play. He was, after all, meant to be an understudy to Price.

Montreal could give veteran Peter Budaj a shot. He has a good track record against the Rangers. In his four career starts against the team he is 3-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .920 save percent. However, Budaj hasn’t played against this New York squad so we could end up with a very different outcome.

Regardless of who Montreal sticks in front of their goal, Lundqvist is still going to be in front of the Rangers goal blocking shots. Perhaps the adjustments should be made on offense, though they did get over 40 shots at the goal with only one result in Game 2.

The fact is Lundqvist is at the top of his game, only allowing three goals in the entire series with a .964 save percent.

The Canadiens had a goalie in Price that could put up similar numbers, but without him they simply cannot compete on the same level at the Rangers. So, a series meant to be a duel between the two best goalies in the NHL has become a one-sided fight.

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