There were a few things to note in the Rangers 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Tanner Glass scored the only goal of the game, Henrik Lundqvist got his 10th career playoff shutout but the main story was how well the Rangers played defensively. New York has rightfully taken a lot of criticism for their defensive play this year but you wouldn’t know it from watching this game, as they limited the Canadiens to only nine scoring chances at even strength. They also found themselves on the right end of the possession game, outshooting Montreal 49-45 (in attempts).
It was a little surprising to watch because the Rangers have been a pretty weak team at controlling the shot clock this year, especially compared to Montreal. They’ve had a tendency to get hemmed in the defensive zone & relying on the counter-attack for their offense. It’s a tough way to play, but this is what the Rangers have lived and died by over the last couple of seasons. Well, that and their goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, who is coming off a down season but is still one of the best in the league.
Wednesday night, however, was a different story. The Rangers relied on their defense to carry them through most of the game & weren’t getting many chances off the rush. In fact, most of the offensive they did create were off shifts with sustained pressure, which has not been the norm for them this year. What contributed to this? Well, some of it was what the Habs didn’t do, especially in the neutral zone.