Byron lifts Canadiens past Rangers in shootout
NEW YORK (AP) Carey Price gave the Montreal Canadiens a much-needed win.
Price made 28 saves and Paul Byron scored in the fifth round of the shootout and Montreal beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night to give coach Claude Julien his first win in his second stint with the Canadiens.
Price stopped Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller twice in the OT, including a diving save in the closing seconds of the extra period .
”They made a really good play on the 2-on-1 (break),” Price said. ”Just laid out and it hit me.”
The Canadiens, who started the season 13-1-1, are trying to fend off Ottawa for the lead in the Atlantic Division.
”We were desperate for sure,” Price said. ”We need to play that way for the rest of the season.
”If we’re going to find that consistency in our game. If we keep giving out efforts like that, it’ll come.”
With the win, Price moved into a tie with Ken Dryden for third on the franchise’s wins list among goaltenders with the 258th of his career.
Julien took over last week after Michel Therrien was fired and the Canadiens lost to Winnipeg on Saturday in his first game.
”It’s a great feeling, but I think overall, I think it’s a great feeling for the whole team,” Julien said. ”We needed this win. It’s been tough, and I think playing the way we did tonight hopefully encourages us to play that way moving on here.”
Shea Weber had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens. Andrew Shaw also scored for Montreal.
The Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello opened the shootout with a goal and Montreal’s Alexander Radulov tied it in the second round.
”Carey is always good for us,” Radulov said. ”Even in that stretch when we were losing games, he was still good for us and giving us a chance to win.
”We kind of blew it and didn’t get it done, but it’s nice to see today the guys regroup and giving everything they’ve got to get the W.”
Rick Nash and Oscar Lindberg scored in regulation for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves as New York snapped its five-game home win streak.
Lundqvist stopped Max Pacioretty halfway through overtime and Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec hit the post late in the period.
Tied 1-1 after the first period, the Canadiens took advantage of a penalty to Nick Holden to take the lead. Weber took a pass from Andrei Markov and one-timed a blast past Lundqvist for his 14th of the season at 1:42.
Price then preserved the lead when he made a nice right pad save on Nash’s breakaway attempt a couple of minutes later.
However, Nash got the better of Price halfway through the second period. Ryan McDonagh made the pass to spring Nash on the breakaway and he beat Price with a wrister for his 17th at 9:26.
”I think you need to take his eyes away and get traffic in front of him.” Nash said of trying to score on Price. ”I think you have to outwork him. You have to shoot every opportunity you get. I think in the first period we didn’t make him work hard enough.”
Lundqvist then made a glove save on Byron’s shot less than a minute later before Brendan Gallagher crashed into him and drew an interference penalty.
”We did a lot of good things. We played well enough to win it,” Lundqvist said. ”It came down to some extra shots in the end here, but we definitely had the looks and we worked hard all over the ice. We just played a really good team; they had a strong game as well.”
Weber helped the Canadiens open the scoring early in the first period. He shot wide from the right point. Shaw got the puck behind the net and beat Lundqvist with a wraparound at 3:55 for his eighth.
The Rangers answered halfway through the period. Jesper Fast took a pass from Lindberg at his own blue line and skated into the Canadiens zone along the right wall. Fast then centered a pass while sliding to the ice and Lindberg, who skated hard all the way toward the net, deflected the puck past Price for his third at 10:03.
NOTES: Julien won 72 games in his first stint with the Canadiens from 2002-03 through 2005-06. … The Canadiens acquired D Keegan Lowe in a trade from Carolina for Philip Samuelsson. Lowe, the son of Kevin Lowe who won six Stanley Cups in his career, was the 73rd overall pick in the 2011 draft, and played two games with the Hurricanes in 2014-15. The 23-year-old prospect will report to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. Samuelsson is the son of Ulf Samuelsson, who is the head coach of the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The younger Samuelsson has appeared in 13 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes.
Canadiens: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Rangers: Travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.