Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Saturday night’s game between the Canadiens and the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre.
Two third-period goals by Brandon Dubinsky were the difference as the New York Rangers rallied to defeat the Canadiens 4-2 Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Dubinsky snapped a 2-2 tie when he beat Carey Price from a sharp angle at 6:37 and then added an insurance goal at 10:17.
“There were a lot of bodies in front of the net on the final goal, but I should have stopped the first one,” Price said. “I thought I was right up against the post, but somehow the puck found a way through.”
While Price seemed to be struggling throughout the game — he faced only 23 shots — Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding at the other end of the ice. He made 34 saves, including 14 after Tomas Plekanec gave the Canadiens a brief 2-1 lead at 3:53 of the third period.
“You have to give their goaltender a lot of credit,” said head coach Michel Therrien after watching his team suffer its third straight defeat. “We had more scoring chances than they did, but they got the goaltending and we didn’t.”
Price did a rare assist on a power-play goal after Carl Hagelin gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 1:46 of the second period. Price stopped Brad Richards on a short-handed breakaway and found Erik Cole with a stretch pass. Lundqvist made the save on Cole’s shot off the rush, but he left a juicy rebound for P.K. Subban, who scored at 10:30.
“I had to score because it was my fault that Richards had that breakaway,” said Subban, who failed to control a bouncing puck at the point.
Plekanec gave the Canadiens their only lead of the game when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from Alexei Emelin. It was his fifth goal of the season.
But the lead didn’t long as Marian Gaborik was on the tail end of a 2-on-1 with Richards at 5:30.
“I started to shoot, but (Josh) Gorges made a move toward me and I figured had a better chance at it,” Richards said.
Brandon Prust, who was playing his first game against the Rangers since signing a free-agent deal with Montreal, showed his former teammates that past friendships don’t count for much on the season. He tangled with Dan Girardi at 4:20 and scored a TKO when Girardi lost his balance while trying to throw a punch.
Both teams lost players in the game. Canadiens forward Colby Armstrong suffered what the team described as a minor lower-body injury. He appeared to suffer an ankle or knee injury in a battle along the boards in the second period.
Former Canadien Aaron Asham suffered a wrist injury and will be out three to four weeks. Ryan Callahan was shaken up after Emelin delivered a hard check late in the second period. Callahan didn’t return, but the Rangers said the injury was not serious and he was held out as a precaution.
The Canadiens wrap up a four-game homestand Tuesday against the Calgary Flames.
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