The New York Rangers ended a three-game homestand by dropping a 3-1 decision to the streaking Montreal Canadiens, who collected their fifth straight win Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers failed to convert on a critical power-play late in the third period, another eyesore for the anemic unit. New York entered Tuesday's match against the Habs ranked dead last in the league and went 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
Familiar foe: In his first time back at Madison Square Garden since inking a four-year $10 million deal with Montreal this summer, former Rangers tough guy set up the Habs' go-ahead goal against his old club. Prust picked up an assist after dishing off to Alex Galchenyuk on an odd-man rush that snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third period.
Caught snoozing: Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman caught the Habs on their heels to open up scoring for the Rangers in the first. The Canadiens relaxed after a delayed penalty, but Stralman kept pursuing the play, burying a deft feed down low from first-line center Derek Stepan at 12:29.
Nash scratched: Rick Nash was scratched Tuesday with an undisclosed injury. The 28-year-old winger’s status has been a topic of conversation of late; he missed a team event and practice over the weekend and was questionable for the team’s match against the Capitals on Sunday. Nash ended up playing 22:33 against Washington and practicing the following day, but he sat out Tuesday. John Tortorella declined to provide any information about what is ailing the team’s star forward.
Slow start: In a lackluster first period, both teams struggled to create offense. The Rangers did not manage a shot on goal until Carl Hagelin’s at 8:23 and the Habs were limited even longer. Prust registered the team’s first shot with a wrap-around attempt with 3:49 remaining in the period.
Subban’s stinger: A P.K. Subban slapshot early in the second period left goaltender Henrik Lundqvist grimacing in pain, though the reigning Vezina Trophy winner remained in the game. Subban’s blast appeared to peg Lundqvist on the right shoulder/collarbone.
Rangers debut: With both Nash and Darroll Powe (concussion) out of the lineup, Brandon Mashinter and Chris Kreider suited up for the Rangers. Mashinter made his Rangers debut after being recalled from the AHL’s Connecticut Whale on Monday. The 24-year-old forward, who was traded to the Rangers by San Jose earlier this season, played on the team’s fourth line with Arron Asham and Jeff Halpern.
Up Next: Rangers at Senators, Thursday at 7:30 p.m.