Lundqvist, Rangers roll over surging Canadiens 5-0
NEW YORK (AP) -- Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots for his fourth shutout, Martin St. Louis had a goal and assist, and the suddenly stingy New York Rangers routed the NHL-leading Montreal Canadiens 5-0 on Sunday night.
Lundqvist, who followed on the heels of backup Cam Talbot's blanking of Philadelphia on Wednesday, posted his team-record 54th shutout. Dominic Moore scored his first goal, and Derek Stepan added his second in a dominant middle period for the Rangers, who had three days off due to a snow postponement in Buffalo.
Carl Hagelin scored at 1:40 of the third and Rick Nash made it 5-0 with his 14th goal with 4:36 left in the second matchup between the teams since New York won the Eastern Conference finals.
Montreal (16-6-1) had won eight of nine. The Rangers were 1-8-1 against the Canadiens in the previous 10 games.
Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves in the loss. Lundqvist was uncharacteristically aggressive in playing the puck behind and in front of the net. It led to a collision in the third period when former Rangers forward Brandon Prust knocked down the goalie, and then fought defenseman Kevin Klein.
New York carried a 1-0 lead into the second and quickly built on it as Stepan scored 35 seconds in. St. Louis made a pass from the boards to Stepan, who ripped a rising shot past Tokarski.
St. Louis did all the work in pushing the edge to 3-0. The swift forward raced toward defenseman Alexei Emelin, who had his back to him as he tracked the puck in his end. Emelin took a swipe to try to clear it, but missed. St. Louis swooped in, took the puck in on Tokarski and scored his eighth with 4:27 to go in the second.
The well-rested Rangers got off to a good start in the opening minute against the Canadiens, who beat Boston 2-0 on Saturday night behind Carey Price. New York forced Montreal into back-to-back icings, then received the first power play 48 seconds in.
Moore broke the scoreless deadlock at 9:44 when he took a feed in front from Tanner Glass and forced the puck past Tokarski. It was Moore's first goal since New York's 1-0 win in Game 6 against Montreal that sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals.
Tokarski was in goal that night, too, subbing for the injured Price.
NOTES: Moore hadn't scored a regular-season goal since March 26, 27 games earlier. Glass earned his first point of the season on the goal, and Jesper Fast picked up his first NHL point. ... The Rangers are 128-124-54-1 against the Canadiens at home but only 65-201-40-3 against their Original Six rivals in Montreal. ... Tokarski has allowed at least three goals in two of his six outings. He entered with a 1.78 goals-against average. ... Chris Kreider had two assists.
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