No one said the Stanley Cup playoffs were for the faint of heart or for those who have weak stomachs.
For the Rangers, their bellies were probably in knots on Friday night after Tomas Plekanec drew the Canadiens even with 17.3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at three.
They probably felt even worse when Alexander Radulov scored the game winner with 1:26 remaining in overtime to knot the series at one game apiece.
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Luckily for the Blueshirts, Easter Sunday provides that “next time” that many refer to after a disheartening loss.
This time though, they’ll be right at home in front of 18,000 rabid Ranger fans keen on re-taking the series lead.
Here’s what you need to know:
Date: Sunday, Apr. 16
Puck drop: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
TV: MSG, NBC Sports Network
Radio: 98.7 ESPN
Despite allowing four goals on Friday, Henrik Lundqvist was just as solid as he was during his 31-save Game 1 shutout.
Lost in New York’s Game 2 loss was the 54 saves he made, a playoff career high for him. Oddly enough, his other two postseason bests of 49 and 48 saves came in losses as well.
That says more about the defense than it does about his play.
New York’s blue liners have to do a better job at limiting the chances Montreal gets at Lundqvist’s net or else this series will get out of hand shortly. In the first two games, Montreal outshot the Rangers 89-69.
Good news for New York though is that two of their more talented middle-line forwards got on the score sheet Friday night.
Michael Grabner, who scored one goal in the last 23 games of the regular season, tallied his second in as many games in the postseason while Rick Nash snapped a perfectly placed shot over the shoulder of Carey Price.
If they can help carry the scoring and take the pressure off the Rangers’ first line, then the Blueshirts can at least stay competitive in a pivotal Game 3 and provide Lundqvist and the defense with some support.
Follow @JoePantorno on Twitter for your live updates from Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.