Rangers finally score in Montreal for shutout win

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- One goal was all it took for the New York Rangers to end a pair of Bell Centre droughts.

Right wing Ryan Callahan scored the only goal his team would need in a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, snapping a stretch of four straight games without a goal in Montreal for the Rangers.

The win was also New York's first on Bell Centre ice since March 17, 2009.

Goalie Cam Talbot stopped 21 shots for the Rangers (10-9-0), who have won seven of their past nine games following their 2-0 loss to the Canadiens on Oct. 28.

"We wanted to keep pucks down below the goal line and try not to turn pucks over and give them (a chance) to use their speed," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "We did a pretty good job overall. We kept the pace up.

"We probably started taking too long a shifts there at times and that slowed our pace down a little bit and gave them some momentum. Besides that, we played a pretty good overall game and probably could have had a few more chances but they could have, too."

Carey Price, back in net after a night off on Friday, made 33 saves for Montreal (10-9-2). It was the Canadiens' fourth regulation loss -- and sixth overall -- in eight games thus far in November.

Montreal had its chances to open the scoring. An early first-period power play saw center David Desharnais, who scored the shootout winner against Columbus a night earlier, nearly pot his first of the season in a goalmouth scramble.

"You don't want to take a penalty right off the bat and give a team like that a chance on the power play right away but I got to make a couple of saves there and kind of feel the puck," said Talbot who, in his first-ever Bell Centre appearance, became the first Rangers netminder to post a shutout in Montreal since Ed Giacomin did the same in a 5-0 win on Feb. 25, 1967.

"We settled down after that and played great," Talbot said.

In the second, left wing Travis Moen and right wing Brian Gionta enjoyed back-to-back opportunities with the Canadiens shorthanded but couldn't get one past Talbot.

"We put in an honest effort tonight. That was a tough couple of games we just played," said Price, who made 33 saves. "Our guys played really hard in front of me tonight."

Callahan broke the scoreless tie at 5:25 of the second period when he tipped center Brad Richard's slap shot from the circle past Price, just as time expired on the first penalty on a two-man advantage for New York. The goal, Callahan's sixth of the season, was his fourth on the power play and the Rangers' first against the Canadiens this season.

After a sluggish start to the third in which the home side went nearly eight minutes without a shot on goal, Montreal's fourth line of center Daniel Briere, left wing Michael Bournival and Moen buzzed around the Rangers' end but the puck stayed out of the net.

In the end, the Canadiens managed just five shots on goal in the final frame.

"It's a 1-0 game and we have a chance to make it a great weekend and we couldn't generate anything in that third," Gionta said. "No matter what they're doing, we've got to find ways to get through. Can't be content with being shut down, that's for sure."

NOTES: The Rangers' second-period goal was their first at Bell Centre since they scored in a 4-1 loss on Jan. 15, 2012. ... Canadiens D Alexei Emelin made his season debut after recovering from a knee injury suffered on April 6. ... RW Brendan Gallagher returned after missing Friday's game with the flu. ... The Canadiens scratched D Douglas Murray, C Ryan White and RW George Parros. ... The Rangers scratched D Michael Del Zotto and LW Brandon Mashinter. ... New York LW Rick Nash skated with the team on Saturday morning and expects to return to the lineup next week.
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