Liveblog: Conference Final Game 1 – Canadiens annihilated 7-2 by Rangers in series opener

St. Louis

Total domination

The Rangers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by diminutive dynamos Martion St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello during a first period in which they had a 12-6 shot advantage.

After Rene Bourque's goal cut the lead to one, Chris Kreider and Brad Richards beat Carey Price in the last 61 seconds of the second period.

Peter Budaj replaced Price for the third period and surrendered three power-play goals.

Lars Eller got one during Garbage Time.

The Rangers outshot the Canadiens 28-22 and dominated from start to finish.

Pouring it on

Within the first five minutes, the Rangers got power-play goals from Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash to snuff any remotre hope of a CH miracle.

Peter Budaj had replaced Carey Price for the final 20 minutes.

Lars Eller scored a lovely unassisted goal long after it mattered.

Comeback snuffed

Rene Bourque brought the building to life when he beat Henrik Lundqvist to make it a one-goal game.

The euphoria didn't last.

After withstanding some pressure, the Rangers got two goals – from Chris Kreider and Brad Richards – in the period's last 61 seconds.

Canadiens outshot the visitors 10-8.

Game 2 is Monday night.

These ain't the Bruins

The Rangers used their speed and forechecking tenacity to dominate the home team for 20 minutes.

Shots were 12-6 and the visitors got goals, into wide-open nets, by Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello.

Rene Bourque took two hooking penalties.

The Canadiens were awful.

Buckle up for a fast ride

Your Montreal Canadiens face a Conference final opponent that eschews rock 'em/sock 'em intimidation in favour of skating and skill.

Not unlike your Montreal Canadiens.

The Rangers have excellent team speed, epitomized by ageless Martin St. Louis.

New York has a red-hot goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, who was as brilliant against Pittsburgh as Carey Price was against Boston ... and David Krejci is no Sidney Crosby.

The Rangers have a solid, six-deep defence corps, led by – pause for gnashing of teeth – Ryan McDonagh.

And Alain Vigneault is a good coach.

The teams are very evenly matched, and fans can look forward to fast-paced, entertaining and thuggery-free hockey.

It's an early afternoon start to accommodate NBC. Puck drops 1:10ish.

• Every remaining game in the series will begin at 8 p.m. There will be two-day gaps between Games 2-3 and 3-4. Game 7, if it goes that far, will be on Sunday, May 31.

What this team has done for Montreal

The Canadiens have made a bet with Jimmy Fallon

• Pre-game reading: The great Teemu Selanne talks about his career, including unfond memories of Pierre Gauthier. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick tweeted: Congrats to Teemu on a HOF career, it was an honor to play against him. 

Do you suppose Quick threatened to kill Selanne in the handshake line?

 

1,157 Comments

  1. gmoan says:

    I still believe…

  2. Marc10 says:

    Might have to resort to the neutral zone trap to bring the Rangers back to earth. That was a clusterf*** of epic proportions.

    I was up in the middle night with kids not sleeping. Thanks for adding to the experience Les Boys. That PK clunker that made it 4-1 summed it up. Ouch.

  3. slyCH says:

    RDS playing a piece on Steve Penny. Wow. That’s actually looking to be interesting.

  4. CalgaryHab says:

    Maybe this game was a final ‘in your face’ to the bruins. Kind of like ‘you’ve seen how hard we can play – now watch how bad we can suck. Don’t you wish this was the Habs team you faced? Suck it Boston! Ha!’

    Do you think maybe?

  5. habsfan0 says:

    I had a feeling the Habs would come out flat for this game after just coming off a very emotional series win vs Boston.
    They were also due to play a stinker against the Rangers at home given their total domination over that team over the last couple of years in Montreal when New York was almost constantly being shut out.

    The Habs will rebound.

    • D Mex says:

      I think may feared it.
      Thing is, NYR had almost identical reasons to do the same.
      And didn’t.

      Back to the drawing board … :!:

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • habsfan0 says:

        Rangers are still in the “let’s win it for Martin St. Louis” frame of mind.
        That won’t last forever.
        And going 7 games to beat an average Philadelphia team,and another 7 to knock off Marc Andre Fleury’s Penguins,with all their problems, is not quite the same thing as just beating the regular season President’s Trophy winners whom a lot of people were picking to win the Stanley Cup this year.
        In 1979, the Habs won a thrilling 7 game series against the Bruins in OT(too many men on the ice game)and then came out flat against the Rangers in Game 1 of the Sanley Cup Final, losing the game 4-1.
        The Habs then won the next four.

  6. C-Sword says:

    Funny thing is the two guys who scored for the Habs are the same two that fans wanted scratched and traded throughout the season. They’re still the most consistent line and that’s without PP time.

    The Rangers’ speed will be tough to handle by 74 and 79.

  7. fastfreddy says:

    It’s time to sit Gorges down, he’s horrible, weak. Our achille’s heel.
    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  8. slyCH says:

    Listening to Vigneault is so refreshing after listening to lemon sucking expression Bruin boy.

  9. Danno says:

    Vigneault’s tie matches the NHL backdrop screen perfectly.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • D Mex says:

      You’re not suggesting he stopped in to pick it up while grabbing coffee at the NHL Head Office in NYC ~ are you ? (jk) ;-)

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  10. D Mex says:

    @ Boone

    Much as I hate to acknowledge you, just a heads up that I have a few Code 403s left, and plan to use one for the game on Monday. So, no need for you to schedule the usual dump of pessimism here.

    Just checked the schedule at Bob Birnie Arena – lots going on so why not plan on dropping by to share your glow with folks over there instead. As an added bonus, it’s nice and close to your abode.

    Thanks – and enjoy the day off !

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Mike in his presser said Carey is not hurt. He pulled him in 3rd to protect him because he was getting no help in front.

    • D Mex says:

      Smart coaching move.
      Support your goalie and send a message to the team.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • slyCH says:

        He gets his name ingraved on the cup now. Yeah?

        • D Mex says:

          It’s premature to discuss names engraved on cups.
          He knows that.

          Ever won anything behind a bench ?
          He has.

          ALWAYS Habs –
          D Mex

          • slyCH says:

            I was talking about Budaj if they do win. Don’t you have to play in a game during the series to have your name on the cup? Was not making disparaging remark on MT or your post.

            Not trying to be confrontational here.

          • CJ says:

            Hi Sly. If we won Budaj would have his name on the Cup, same as other back ups have in the past. He did not need to play to qualify.

          • D Mex says:

            My bad, then – apologies.
            Thought you were referring to MT.
            All good I hope ;-)

            ALWAYS Habs –
            D Mex

          • slyCH says:

            Merci mon potte.

            EDIT: both of ya’s. ;-)

    • TommyB says:

      If Price is not exactly 100%, it certainly isn’t going to be acknowledged. But let’s take MT’s word for it unless it proves otherwise.

  12. TommyB says:

    If you’re going to get thumped, and need a wakeup call, game 1 is pretty much the best time for it to happen. This team should bounce back next game. Now, if Price is not able to play, all bets are off. Budaj came into the game at a bad time. He came in when certain Habs (Prust for one) decided to go kookoo for cocoa puffs and faced a barrage of PP offense from the Rangers. He wouldn’t be as bad as that period today, but Price is the guy we need.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Price singularly makes us contenders rather than pretenders.

      Budaj will not win this series for us, as much as we all love the guy.

  13. johnnylarue says:

    Hey, so… I guess this means the Mattyleg Curse is back in full swing, eh?

  14. Louisville says:

    Waste of an afternoon. One coach had his team ready to play with a system that made sense and one coach didn’t. That is the long and short of it.

  15. habs-hampton says:

    i’d rather play at 10 PM in New York than 1:00 PM at the Bell Center.

  16. habs-hampton says:

    Sometimes its better to get the snot beat out of you than to lose 2-1 and convince yourself you played well, but got no breaks.

  17. slyCH says:

    Justified. RDS just mentioned the lapse of concentration regarding the end of the 2nd period. I’ve said it from the get go. They dominated the 2nd until the last 2 minutes. They were more concise then I can be typing half drunk is all… ;-)

  18. CJ says:

    Nothing to do but put this loss in your rear view mirror. I’m sure everyone in the dressing room is embarrassed. So long as Price is not hurt, we are still a tough out. I do agree with one comment during the CBC broadcast – the OT loss in game four was a bigger gut punch.

    If I was using a golf analogy, we have just double bogeyed the first hole, but there is plenty of track ahead.

    What is concerning, IMO, is that we continue to receive inconsistent/poor play from Vanek, Gionta, Bourque, Briere and Pleks. These are our veterans up front. We need them to lead our team. Pleks, Gionta and Vanek are playing like guys who know there is no chance the coach will scratch them. It’s troubling and needs to be addressed – privately.

    On the back end, we need to make some serious adjustments. It was nice to see Nate get some time with PK, but the biggest concern is the second unit, who look slow and positionally unsound. There was so many defensive breakdowns it’s hard to focus on one exclusively, but suffice it to say, gap control and recognizing your opponent’s strengths is at the top of the list.

    Honestly, and I don’t want to get all pointy stick, but we looked flat and unprepared. We will need to make some major adjustments to get this back on the rails. I’m bringing my perfect post season record to game two, so I’m certainly expecting a much better showing.

    Could we see White, Chucky and/or Tinordi? Hard to tell. Even though we got blown out, it’s likely not the time it reinvent the wheel. IMO, we got caught looking ahead. The Rangers, using Marty or a slight, a combination or something else entirely looked prepared, motivated and well researched.

    I do hope – scratch that – I beg that Price is healthy. Our success hinges on him being lights out the rest of the way. I know others said that they thought the King looked shaky, but IMO, he’s focused and on top of his game. We will need traffic and second chance opportunities to break through.

    In closing, it’s far from over. I thought this was going seven games and nothing has changed my opinion. Getting a split at home is now key.

    Well, at least I will have lots to talk about over dinner tonight…..

    Cheers, CJ

  19. mdp2011 says:

    Thank God there aren’t anymore afternoon games. The Habs had a bad game in the system.

  20. CalgaryHab says:

    Remember that bruins series? That was epic!

    • johnnylarue says:

      As a fan, I can say that at no point in this game did I feel even the tiniest fraction of the emotion I got from the Boston series. I found myself barely even caring when the Rags scored the first two.

      Beating the Bruins was my Stanley Cup.

      So while an actual Cup victory on top of that would be pretty sweet, in my heart of hearts, anything else the Habs manage to pull off this season is gravy.

      • JUST ME says:

        Felt the exact same way as johnnylarue . I am in a bonus mode right now. i have exceeded all goals and possible satisfaction level with the way the serie went against the Bruins and will never forget it.
        That added with the fact that i hate those afternoon games,i hate Gary Bettman for not understanding what it means to not play a playoff game on a saturday night just to allow an american network to show a 2 minutes horse race…I just have no words to explain how this is disgusting for me.
        Never was in the game, Habs never were in it either ,congrats to the Rangers, look forward to monday that`s all.

        • CJ says:

          Admittedly, I agree too. The team often takes it’s cues from it’s fanbase. There was such pride and joy in beating Boston. It really felt like the finals, yet it was only the halfway line. Everything built up to that moment, now we are left to try and build it up again. It’s going to be a long road, but I’m not giving up yet.

          • johnnylarue says:

            That’s it. This *should* be a long series… And I suspect the boys will get their heads on straight for the next game.

            No question about it though–we all felt exactly the same EPIC HIGH that the players felt upon eliminating Boston, and in a game which is largely played between the ears at this time of the season, that drop in intensity and focus can make all the difference.

  21. habsinnyc says:

    Potentially worse than the psychological issue of MSL is the physical issue of Carey. Also important is whether MT can make the necessary adjustments. He couldn’t get around the Bruins’ shut down game in game 4 and then the team shat the bed in game 5. But 6 and 7 showed he can get this team going. Let’s see what happens …

  22. JUST ME says:

    Well… Sure are no excuses today !
    Nothing worse then a no show. Where to start,what to fix. Is this only a bad game in the system ?
    The Rangers sure were ready for that game. Hat`s off to them i guess.

  23. tab says:

    Should have put bournival out against Kreider to match and neutralize speed. Time to start playing man to man defense.

  24. mdp2011 says:

    Well that was a kick in the nuts.

  25. BJ says:

    Well glad that one’s out of the way. 0-4 with afternoon games this year. What jumped out was the difference with the Rangers speed compared to Boston. It took us 25 minutes to adjust, we took the play away for the next 13 minutes or so and our D crapped out in the last two minutes of the second, game over. One more point I hope the Habs don’t let the Rangers rallying cry re. St. Louis’ mothers death become a psychological issue.

    • JUST ME says:

      I do not know if it`s an valid excuse although there ain`t suppose to be any for the habs but personnaly i hate those afternoon games. I just am not in it and have a hard time to feel the same way as a night time game makes me feel.

  26. habsinnyc says:

    Well said, Chico. Nobody has ever won a 7-game series after the first game!!

  27. CHicoHab says:

    Just saw a sports update. Rangers win the series 1-0 and will go on to face the winner of Chicago/LA in the Stanley Cup Finals……… Shaaaaaaaaatttttuuuuupppp!!!!!!!!!

  28. SmartDog says:

    HERE is what is STILL CRAPPY about this team.

    They take 20 minutes in penalties – NONE of them worth it. And no one takes out the guy who run our goalie and took over the game.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  29. Alvin says:

    New York vs Los Angeles…a SC final made in NHL U.S.A. heaven.

  30. Habshire says:

    Unfortunately going to have to flip the switch and go back to trap style and grind out some 1-0 wins.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Yup. Look for the Habs to play your prototypical “perfect road game” at the Bell on Monday… or try to, at the very least.

      Gave up a ridiculous number of scoring opportunities which, contrary to the Bruins, the Rags were able to capitalize on. Every. Single. Time.

  31. Nina76 says:

    Don’t think Carey is hurt…………….. Maybe he thought you guys are not playing…….WHY SHOULD I………GOOD THOUGHT!!

  32. Max says:

    If The Rangers were really that good,they would’ve been undefeated for the whole season plus playoffs. The habs were completely unprepared and need to make serious adjustments for Monday.Can’t afford to lose both at home.

    • dexterthebeagle says:

      Agreed we looked shell shocked in the first, played great in the second but thought a period was only 18 minutes long and that was game over

  33. dexterthebeagle says:

    We needed a stinker. We were way too high after beating them B’s this will bring us back down to earth. My only real concern is Price

    • PK says:

      Agree

      We may be able to get past the stinker but Price is a big concern.
      Game three being on Thursday will buy some time for Price … hope he is ready to go on Monday night ….

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  34. SmartDog says:

    @Storman

    Scott Oake makes PJ Stock look like a mensa candidate.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  35. AceMagnum says:

    Jimmy Fallon squealing with laughter in a Barry Gibb falsetto. Dust off your Rangers jersey Youpiee

  36. SmartDog says:

    Good thing we got rid of that McDonagh kid!
    Smart move Gainey!
    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. saskhab says:

    May 17/1979 Habs win 3rd game 4-1 against NYR during the Stanley Cup finals after losing the first game (after a battle with the Bruins for 7 games) 4-1. Just saying…

    Go Habs Go

  38. Ncognito says:

    So – the bright side?
    How PISSED ared the Bruins right now? Seriously, Chiarelli, Neely and Julien are probably on Google Streetview right now looking for bridges to jump from….

  39. Danno says:

    Is Price hurt? At this point that’s all that really matters.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  40. danhabsfan says:

    Here’s to a better Monday… Blessings all… Have a great long weekend.

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Tabernac! What a Stinker! Everytime this season the Habs pull one of these they came back stronger. Glad it happened in Game 1. Habs in 6. Saludos!

  42. Storman says:

    Is Scott Oake really John Tesh..

  43. habstrinifan says:

    Just tuned in half hour ago. Out all day… in good spirits and WOW!

  44. habs001 says:

    Plecks now minus 18 in his playoff career…

  45. habsfor25 says:

    Oh well, at least it’s not aggregate scoring

  46. D Mex says:

    Habs sh!t the bed – no excuses. Emotional let-down doesn’t fly – NYR just beat PITT, so they / are were riding their own high.

    This being said, it’s more than possible there is advantage to starting a series under these circumstances on the road.

    Regardless, you have to remain confident Habs will adjust and rebound. No doubt in my mind they will.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  47. Storman says:

    Scott Oake what will it mean as team to attend France St Louis burial,, how do you answer tat Dominic Moore,, It will be great,,, oops to be there as a team for Marty.

  48. CrankFSU says:

    Don’t hurt yourself jumping off the bandwagon.

    So far during the playoffs teams have come back from down 0-3, 0-2, 1-3, 2-3.

    It was a painful game and little discipline (which bothers me). We have shown character all year and there’s no reason to think it will stop now.

    Games like this happen…flush it and move on

    Crank

  49. slyCH says:

    MSL. God bless this class act.

    • Jimmy Page says:

      Yeah sure, bless him.

      But clobber him good with a hard clean check if possible :)

      • slyCH says:

        Of course this goes without saying. I was just trying to keep it classy.

        Like your handle as I’m wearing a Jimmy Page t-shirt of him chugging from a JD bottle back stage. I’m sure you’ve seen the picture. If you’re a true fan. What is and what should never be!

  50. tab says:

    1919 Stanley cup was hosted by pacific coast hockey association. All 5 games were played in Seattle and was only Stanley cup series never decided because of flu pandemic outbreak. Lincoln highway was completed in 1913 so would have been route the team bus took.

  51. habs001 says:

    Weaver plus one in the game…

  52. Max says:

    Anyone like that Kreider guy? Runs our goalie and takes over the game.Any answer for this?

  53. Peter Young says:

    We’ll get them next time. It just goes down as a one-game loss; the score doesn’t matter in terms of winning the series. We know the Canadiens have a lot more in them than we saw today.

  54. ooder says:

    After horricif trades like Gomez and ribeiro, one wonders how gainey and pg still have nhl jobs

  55. w.p.d says:

    There are no words. Use the embarrassment as fuel for G2. Other than that, move on.

  56. AceMagnum says:

    Pittsburgh on the phone begging Ray Shero to come back.

  57. Arnou Ruelle says:

    The team is pretty much a banged up bunch right now. MT has to regroup his ‘men’ for game 2. Also, Rangers’ Dmen have speed. Habs need one more speedy guy at the back end to supplement their offence. Probably Boullion or Pateryn could help and replace Markov or Emelin.

    Chucky is in probably to replace Prust.

  58. slyCH says:

    So I can pass out now?

  59. thebonscott says:

    Let’s be honest, they wouldn’t have beaten any team with that level of play.

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Interesting comment from one the ppl. from HNIC saying the Rangers were ‘standing’ while the Habs are ‘sitting’ during a powerplay.

  60. habsfaninboston says:

    We can only hope they come prepared for the next game.

  61. Chris says:

    Well, people won’t be looking past the Rangers anymore.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Good, some of those comments the day after game 7 were brutal.

    • slyCH says:

      I didn’t realize how fast they are.

      • Chris says:

        I was pulling for the Penguins…that would have been a far better match-up for the Canadiens. The Rangers’ speed had me very fearful.

        It isn’t over, but now Therrien and his staff have some coaching to do because there are some glaring issues. The right side defencemen were getting turnstiled all game long, the Canadiens couldn’t get any transition game going for long periods of time, and the Habs have zero time with the puck because of how fast the Rangers close in. Throw in the Rangers’ shot-blocking excellence and this was a team that is designed to give the Habs fits.

        • slyCH says:

          I thought the Habs played and dominated extremely well in the 2nd period, only without a goal…the last 2 minutes deflated the team. Bad execution and bad outcome. But if they play as they did in that 2nd? They have a very good chance.

  62. Mondou6 says:

    Price is hurt. He was limping to the dressing room.

    Without him in top form, we’re totally f-ed.

  63. johnnylarue says:

    Typical CBC: no star for either Prust or Bourque, who both played a vital role in the outcome of this game.

  64. Cdnman1 says:

    Should be a response in game two.

  65. Strummer says:

    This all CBC’s fault. Everyone knows they hate the Habs and Hughson sounds giddy when they lose
    ____________________________________________________
    “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

  66. Commandant says:

    One of the best Habs teams ever, lost game 1 to the Rangers in 1979 in a stinker after an emotional series vs Boston… If that team can have an Emotional Letdown, so can this one.

    Series far from over.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  67. The Puckhound says:

    1st star….NBC for the game to start at 1pm!

    Habs were too dopey today!

    Go to the net and keep your stick on the ice!

  68. Storman says:

    Bob Gainey star number 1, Ryan McDonagh 4 pts star number 2

  69. Danno says:

    Wow. Brutal.

    Habs fell into the trap of thinking the Rags would be easy.

    Time to regroup, make adjustments and turn the page.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  70. shakey says:

    wake up call indeed.

  71. WAR72 says:

    Better to get hammered in game one than game seven.
    Still a lotta series to go…

  72. big_green_puffin says:

    I feel bad for fans that paid $400-500 for tickets to this crap! Geoff Molson should refund all the tickets sold as an apology for this crap show!

  73. VerdunHab says:

    Not fun to watch and not ideal…but honestly it was a little expected. Rather get blown out like this than lose in OT to be honest. WAKE UP CALL!! Get Galchenyuk in next game for Prust please.


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