The choice to start Cam Talbot again in Montreal appeared to be a good one as the backup goaltender held the Habs scoreless for more than 62 minutes.
Both he and Canadiens netminder Carey Price were downright terrific all night, though it was Price who skated off with a victory.
The Blueshirts saw a two-game winning streak snapped after former Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz hauled down Brian Gionta 2:04 into overtime. The Habs captain beat Talbot on the penalty shot, sending New York into the playoffs with a stinging loss.
Sitting pretty: With a playoff spot clinched and home-ice advantage already secured, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault elected to give a few key players a night off to rest before postseason play kicks off next week. Veterans Dan Girardi and Martin St. Louis sat out Saturday’s match, as did goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Ryan McDonagh was also held out for an additional game. Though the 24-year-old defenseman hasn’t played since sustaining a left shoulder injury last Tuesday, he will be back in the lineup when the Rangers square off against the Flyers.
First-round foes: The Rangers will face the Philadelphia Flyers in the two clubs’ first playoff meeting since 1997. Game 1 of the best-of-seven set will be held Thursday at Madison Square Garden with Game 2 likely set for either Saturday or Sunday of next weekend. The Flyers nailed down the third seed in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday afternoon. One interesting storyline to follow? Flyers starting goaltender Steve Mason left the game with an upper-body injury sustained in the second period, though coach Craig Berube said he will be available to play Thursday.