New York Rangers outscore the Montreal Canadiens to make it six straight wins

Feb 15, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) grabs
Feb 15, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) grabs / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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Chaos happened at the Garden in this one. A 7-4 win with a goal disallowed, Adam Fox had a 4 assist game, Chris Kreider had a hat-trick, the powerplay snapped its skid, and a Ranger likely saw his season end tonight as the Blueshirts take victory against the Montreal Canadiens in a game they needed to win. It's six straight wins for the Rangers going into the Stadium Series game at MetLife.

Montreal would be the first team to put the puck in the net in this one when Gignac tipped a point shot out in front. Quick saved it, but the rebound was put home. Now, the difficulty is because the goal was waved off on the ice, the Canadiens could not challenge this, and the Rangers may have gotten away with one early as some of the angles made that look like it was below the bar.

Blake Wheeler would leave the game with 9 minutes to go in the first period as his right leg twisted awkwardly along the boards. He tried to get up, and one of the NHL's toughest players could not get to his feet. That's an extremely bad sign. That looked like the Kaapo Kakko injury from earlier in the year, and the veteran likely will miss time with that one. It's not a good sign.

Montreal would put the puck in again, as Josh Anderson gathered the puck in the slot and turned to fire it at Jonathan Quick. Quick was equal to it, but Jake Evans could slot the rebound into the cage for a goal that would count for the Canadiens. New York were now chasing the game against a team that has some red hot scorers and a goaltender that loves to torment the Rangers. This felt like it could be one of those nights.

New York got it back a little over 11 minutes into the second period. Mika Zibanejad threw the puck into the high slot for Chris Kreider to collect. He fluttered it towards Samuel Montembeault, who had not had much to do to this point. It just seemed to flutter past the Montreal netminder and into the back of the net as Kreider collected his 25th of the season, and the Rangers had life.

With 7:33 remaining in the period, the Rangers would take the lead. A face-off win by Jonny Brodzinski allowed the Rangers to get the puck back to the point for Adam Fox, who gave it to Ryan Lindgren. Lindgren threw it out in front, and the rookie Will Cuylle tipped it to make it a 2-1 lead for the Blueshirts as they were trying to build some momentum in this one.

While short-handed, the Canadiens would take a penalty, allowing the Rangers to have a weird 5-on-5 situation with Quick on the bench. Mika Zibanejad drew the penalty, allowing the Rangers to kill the clock. The puck returned to Fox, who got it up to Artemi Panarin before the Breadman got it back for Fox. Fox sent it over to Mika, who slapped the puck home with a rocket of a shot to make it 3-1. But Martin St. Louis challenged the call for goaltender interference as Kreider was in front. Referees decided Kreider did nothing wrong, and the Rangers would get a powerplay anyway.

On the ensuing powerplay, the Rangers would break the drought on the man advantage. Vincent Trocheck got the puck back to Artemi Panarin at the point. Panarin fired it on the net and was looking for a deflection. According to NHL law, the Ranger that has to deflect the puck in front on the powerplay is Chris Kreider, who deflected it perfectly past Montembeault for a 4-1 Ranger lead in the third period.

Montreal could cut into the lead as the Rangers couldn't clear the zone. Jacob Trouba turned the puck over to Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher got it to Juraj Slafkovsky, and the first-round pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft just blasted the puck home past Jonathan Quick to cut into the Rangers advantage, making this a little closer. The Rangers couldn't let the Canadiens build momentum off the back of this.

New York would make it 5-2 in the third period. Artemi Panarin would carry the puck into the offensive zone, which took a deflection out in front. It may have been Alexis Lafreniere out in front, or it may have been Savard, the Canadiens defenseman. Either way, it fluttered past Montembeault to restore the Rangers three goal lead. Montreal now had to come forward and try to attack New York, which would open the door for a blowout in this one.

Montreal would get it back on the powerplay as a shot from the point was seen late by Jonathan Quick, and he stuck a leg out trying to stop Cole Caufield's rebound. In doing so, he may have kicked it into his own net if Cole Caufield didn't touch it, giving the Canadiens powerplay a tally in this one. It made it 5-3, giving this game some life moving into the final 12 minutes.

New York would get it back soon after the first line got an odd-man rush. Michael Pezzetta couldn't handle the puck, and Mika Zibanejad was able to knock it past the Canadiens forward. It created a two-on-one, and Zibanejad sauced it over the sliding defenseman and into the path of Chris Kreider, who put it for his hat-trick. That was everything the Rangers offense needed as the big man took this game over.

There would be more salt in the wound as Kaapo Kakko decided tonight was the game he wanted to show what he can do. He receives on the on the right wall and sits Jonathan Kovacevic down, creating a lane for him to drive to the net. He flips it up into the top corner past Montembeault and shows his power-forward potential, making a case to remain a New York Ranger past March 8th.

Montreal decided they wanted to make this a game again, as the Rangers couldn't deny the zone entry. It allowed Juraj Slafkovsky to flip it over to Cole Caufield. He drove to the middle of the ice before letting that lethal wrister of his fly, which beat Jonathan Quick. It made it 7-4, and the offensive outburst that this game is continued to look like the netminders were left out to dry. But that would end the scoring as the Rangers held it there for the win.