With both the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens coming off big wins against top teams (Pittsburgh and Boston, respectively), it would be easy to assume that both teams would take the ice ready to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
One team showed up and scored seven goals. The other scored only two goals and seemed lackadaisical, according to a Sports Illustrated headline. That team was the Montreal Canadiens.
In Game 1 of the much-anticipated series between two Original Six teams, the New York Rangers put on a show, scoring seven goals from seven different players in the Rangers’ fourth straight win since facing elimination against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Rangers scored two goals back-to-back in the opening minutes of Game 1 and never looked back, this after scoring just one goal against the Canadiens during three games in the regular season.
Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy stated that the Habs were “due for a stinker” after their series win over the Boston Bruins, an assessment that was accurate after the play of the Canadiens in their 7-2 loss. Goaltender Carey Price was pulled after surrendering four goals in two periods, and the Canadiens were one goal away of allowing the most goals in playoff franchise history.
Martin St. Louis, grieving after the passing of his mother, scored the first goal and “provided inspiration” for the rest of the team, according to The Associated Press recap of the game.
St. Louis received the first star for the game and received a long ovation from the crowd when that distinction was announced. He said, “It was an emotional time for everyone, but the guys have been behind me and supported me. My teammates are behind me and supporting me, and their effort was unbelievable. We feel really close right now and we’re trying to keep feeding off that.”
Game 2 is Monday night in Montreal at the Bell Centre.
Image via Wikimedia Commons