Instead of heading to NY trailing by two games, the Canadiens won 4-3 on Friday night to even the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final 1-1 with Game 3 set for Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
PITTSBURGH - Marc-Andre Fleury made 39 saves as Pittsburgh defeated visiting Columbus to seize a 2-0 lead in its Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Canadiens pressed hard and finally scored with 18 seconds left, with goalie Carey Price pulled, as Tomas Plekanec redirected a Radulov feed past Henrik Lundqvist to force overtime.
Only 4:05 in, Lundqvist broke his stick and was helpless as Petry set up in the right circle and scored to the stick side. In between he was simply brilliant.
Game 3 is Sunday night in NY. "I don't know why we're starting now". A broken stick ... they tie it with a broken stick in front. They need more plays from a few of their forwards and the coaches must get Nick Holden straightened out or decide if Kevin Klein or Steven Kampfer should take his place.
"We made some good plays, too, to stay in this game and we had a good chance to win it", he added.
Of all the teams in the playoffs, the Rangers had the fewest home points (46) during the regular season. Puck drop at Madison Square Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Although the Rangers were 20-16-4 at home during the season, players said there won't be a carryover.
But the playoffs are a different beast and the Rangers came within 17.3 seconds of taking a stranglehold on this series. The final one, Radulov's victor, came 18:34 into OT.More news: Syria's Assad says chemical attack '100% fabrication'
Alexander Radulov scored at 18:34 of overtime to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
As for Lundqvist's performance, Nash said: "He's great".
Zack Kassian - The Oilers winger had the game of his life, scoring a shorthanded goal and delivering a couple of monstrous hits, with 11 shot attempts (4 SOG), in a 2-0 Game Two win over San Jose. The Habs almost ended the game on multiple occasions before Radulov did.
New York Rangers' Mats Zuccarello, right, celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens with teammates Derek Stepan, left, Chris Kreider, center right, and Brady Skjei during the second period of Game 2 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Friday, April 14, 2017, in Montreal.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist was busy Friday night, when he had a playoff career-high 54 saves for NY.
Game 3 is Sunday night in Columbus.
"We played the game we wanted to". If you haven't been watching this series, start now. The momentum swing back and forth ... that's going to happen in the playoffs and it did tonight.
It's going to be tougher now for the Rangers - although splitting the first two games on the road isn't a bad way start to the series. I look forward to playing in front of our own fans.
But those fans love themselves a victor, and the Rangers know if they perform well, they will hear their support loud and clear - and so will the Canadiens.