Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Canadiens 3

March, 18, 2011
3/18/11
9:44
PM ET

Recap | Box score | Photos

NEW YORK -- Here is a quick take on the New York Rangers' impressive 6-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers won their third straight and picked up two crucial points as they try and lock themselves into one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. New York (38-30-4) entered the game seven points behind Montreal (39-26-7) for sixth place in the Eastern Conference and is starting to create separation with the teams on its heels in the standings.

WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS: The Garden was buzzing during the game, particularly in the fist period, with the Rangers and Canadiens fans both making lots of noise. The energy in the building was palpable and the Rangers fans seemed to love the early thrashing of Montreal, giving the Blueshirts a standing ovation with 30 seconds left in the first period. The fans chanted "USA!" at the end of the third period.

HANDFUL OF GOALS: The Rangers are not known as a high-powered offense, but they have their moments where they just have an offensive barrage. Tonight was one of those nights and it came against one of the best goalies in the league in Carey Price, who entered the game with the most wins in the NHL.

Leading 2-1 late in the first period, the Rangers scored three goals within a span of 67 seconds to boost their lead to 5-1. Ryan Callahan started the rally, Marian Gaborik followed with a goal 39 seconds later and Brian Boyle finished the scoring 28 seconds later to make it 5-1. Each goal was scored by a different player, with Erik Christensen contributing two assists.

The five goals in one period were the most by the Rangers since March 17, 2007, vs. Boston, and the first time the Rangers scored five in a first period since Dec. 15, 1999, vs. the Kings. The Rangers are now 13-0 when they score at least five goals.

A SCARE: With 3:39 left in the game, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was knocked in the head by Montreal's Benoit Pouliot, who was charging the goal and trying to score. A trainer had to come out and check on Lundqvist, who eventually got up and played out the remainder of the game.

HOLDING ON: While the Rangers had a fantastic first period, they left something to be desired for the rest of the game as the offense stalled and they let Montreal creep back into the game.

FIGHT NIGHT: It didn’t take long for this game to get chippy, One second into the game, Brandon Prust and Travis Moen dropped the gloves and exchanged blows. Later, the referees broke up what seemed to be a looming fight between Michael Sauer and P.K. Subban.

UP NEXT: The Rangers will hit the road and try and win their fourth straight when they face Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Rangers are 3-2 against the Penguins this season, having won both contests played in Pittsburgh.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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