The New York Rangers were just a mere seventeen seconds away from returning home to Madison Square Garden with a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But then, with chaos in front of goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s crease, and a broken stick from defenseman Nick Holden, the game ended up tied at three. With less than two minutes to go in the first overtime period, Montreal found the back of the net and won the game 4-3, tying up the series at one a piece.
Jeff Petry opened up the scoring four minutes into the first to make it 1-0 Canadiens, but then Michael Grabner soon tied things up. Not even two minutes after Grabner’s goal, Paul Byron netted one past Lundqvist to make it 2-1 Canadiens after one. Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Blueshirts in the second period to make it 3-2 Rangers after two. The Rangers were just inches away from going back to New York with a comfortable 2-0 series lead, but with Montreal getting the edge in chances, it would be Tomas Plekanec that would bank in a shot to tie the game with just seventeen seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Montreal dominated a majority of the overtime period even though the Rangers got some good looks themselves. With less than two minutes to go in overtime, Alexander Radulov shot one past Lundqvist to give the Canadiens the victory, sending the Rangers into heartbreak. Lundqvist had an unreal 54 saves despite the team loss.
Following the game, head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters, “When the puck drops on Sunday, we won’t even remember that.”
Defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh was visibly upset and said, “It stings a lot. 17 seconds from taking a 2-0 series lead.”
The series comes to Madison Square Garden Sunday and Tuesday for games three and four before heading back to Bell Centre on Thursday for game five.