Last-minute goal helps Canadiens snap nine-game losing streak

Jeff Petry scores twice, including the winner, and Sam Montembeault did his part in goal with 24 saves as Montreal beat the Rangers 4-3.

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NEW YORK — Jeff Petry scored his second goal of the game with 30.7 seconds to play to give the Canadiens a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

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Sam Montembeault did his part in goal as the Canadiens snapped a nine-game losing streak. I have made 24 saves in a game in which the Canadiens never trailed.

Mike Hoffman and Ryan Strome traded goals earlier in the third period to set the stage for Petry’s winner.

The Rangers took advantage of a turnover by Cole Caufield to tie the score at 2-2 early in the third period. The puck jumped over Caufield’s stick and Barclay Goodrow sent Frank Vatrano on a breakaway up the left wing. He beat Montembeault with a slapshot high to the far side.

The Canadiens were being beaten in every aspect of the game when Ryan Poehling scored to give Montreal a 1-0 lead at 18:45 of the first period. Poehling was jumping into the play in the right faceoff circle when he took a pass from Michael Pezzetta, who was in the left corner. Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev slid across the crease, but it was too late to stop Poehling, who scored his ninth goal of the season.

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Montembeault had to stretch to make a leg save on Zac Jones early in the second period and made another save on Grant McCagg on the same shot. The Rangers’ pressure produced a penalty call, but it was rendered moot when Ryan Reaves scored on the delated penalty. I have deflected a shot by Patrick Nemeth at 4:14.

The second period was even more one-sided than the first. The Rangers had a 10-1 edge in shots going into the final two minutes of the period. Rem Pitlick then missed an open net, but Jeff Petry put Montreal back on top when he beat Georgiev with high shot on the glove side with 8.8 seconds remaining. With his two goals from him, Jeff Petry now has six on the year.

The veteran had a slow start and was outspoken in his criticism of former coach Dominique Ducharme’s system. While his play has improved since the arrival of Martin St. Louis, he has asked for a trade. Kent Hughes was unable to get what he wanted at the deadline and Petry is expected to be in play this summer.

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The Canadiens wrap up their regular season Friday when they are home to the Florida Panthers (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Chris Kreider, who was one of four Rangers to take the night off to rest for the playoffs, was introduced prior to the game as the first recipient of the Rod Gilbert Mr. Ranger Award for a player who combines on-ice skills combined with community service. The award was presented by Gilbert’s widow, Judy.

The pregame activities also included a moment of silence for the late Guy Lafleur, who played one season for the Rangers after he came out of retirement.

O Canada was performed by Canadian trumpeter Jens Lindemann and he was joined by four members of the New York Philharmonic for the Star Spangled Banner.

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