Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Rangers finish off Canadiens, advance to first Stanley Cup final in 20 years

NEW YORK — Dominic Moore scored, Henrik Lund­qvist bounced back from his worst performance in the playoffs and the Rangers beat the Canadiens 1-0 on Thursday night to advance to the Stanley Cup final.

The Rangers are in the championship round for the first time since winning it all in 1994. To celebrate, the Empire State Building was immediately lit up in Rangers colors.

Lundqvist and the Rangers shook off a 7-4 road loss Tuesday night to take out the Canadiens on home ice in Game 6.

He needed to make only 18 saves to tie the team record for playoff shutouts with nine. Lundqvist was pulled after allowing four goals in less than two periods Tuesday.

"It feels so unbelievable," he said.

"The way we responded here, I think we played one of our best periods of the whole playoffs in the third period, when it mattered the most. You just have to get fired up and go out and play. The guys did such a great job. It was not hard."

Lundqvist had been 0-5 since 2009 in non-Game 7 clinching games.

The Rangers haven't had a captain since trading Ryan Callahan to the Lightning for Marty St. Louis, so alternates Brad Richards, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal were called to accept the Prince of Wales Trophy. The whole team joined them and posed for a full-squad photo while the Garden rocked with yells of, "We Want the Cup!"

Montreal's Dustin Tokarski, the former Lightning goalie who replaced injured No. 1 Carey Price after Game 1, was solid in making 31 saves.

The Stanley Cup final will begin on Wednesday at Chicago or Los Angeles, which leads the Western final 3-2.

Montreal made one final push after Tokarski was pulled for an extra skater with 1:53 left. Lundqvist held off the Canadiens as fans chanted, "Hen-rik! Hen-rik!"

The Rangers broke the deadlock late in the second period after some grinding in the left corner by rugged forward Derek Dorsett. The puck came free to defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who sent it behind the net to Brian Boyle in the right corner. Boyle spotted Moore alone in the crease and fed a crisp pass for a hard shot that got through Tokarski with 1:53 left.

The Canadiens failed on their two power plays and finished 2-for-23 in the series.

Rangers0101
Canadiens0000

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesGionta, Mon (goaltender interference), 4:50; Staal, NYR (interference), 19:00.

Second Period1, N.Y. Rangers, D.Moore 3 (Boyle, McDonagh), 18:07. PenaltiesSubban, Mon (interference), 3:13; Markov, Mon (tripping), 12:56; Richards, NYR (hooking), 19:47.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesPrust, Mon (slashing), 14:18. Shots on GoalMontreal 5-8-5—18. N.Y. Rangers 11-8-13—32. Power-play opportunitiesMontreal 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 4. GoaliesMontreal, Tokarski 2-3-0 (32 shots-31 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 12-7-0 (18-18). A18,006 (18,006).

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