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NHL New York Rangers

2010-11 Game 44: Montreal Canadiens 2, New York Rangers 1

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 shots and only allowed two goals, numbers usually good enough to win a game. Not on this night. Canadiens backup Alex Auld led Montreal to a 2-1 win at the Garden on Tuesday night, beating the team he played three games for last year. The loss was New York’s first loss at home in 2011 and ended a three-game winning streak.

The Rangers got off to a great start when Brandon Dubinsky scored his team-leading 17th goal at 4:15 of the first period. He got a pass from defenseman Matt Gilroy and skated past Hal Gill and eventually beat Auld to give the Blueshirts a quick 1-0 lead. The other assist was given to Lundqvist, his third straight game with a helper. Despite being outshot in the first period 14-9, most of the Rangers’ chances were high-quality. Shortly before Dubinsky scored the first goal, newly acquired Wojtek Wolski just missed getting his first goal off a one-timer from Marian Gaborik.

After nearly 19 minutes of scoreless hockey in the second period, Jaroslav Spacek tied the game. A review showed that after a pileup in front of the net occurred, the puck did completely cross the line for a good goal. Benoit Pouliot scored the only goal in the third period, giving Montreal the 2-1 win.

This was the first game for Wolski with the Rangers after being acquired from the Coyotes for defenseman Michal Rozsival. He logged 19:39 of ice time and took two shots, one of them on goal and the other one missed the net. In attempt to get the most offense possible out of him, Wolski was playing on a line with Gaborik and Artem Anisimov. The Rangers could not take advantage of one of Montreal’s best, Mike Cammalleri, not playing due to an illness. The Rangers have an off day today before playing Vancouver at home tomorrow. New York gets to face the Habs again on Saturday, this time, in Montreal.

THREE STARS:

1. Brandon Dubinsky: He scored the only goal for the Rangers last night and played with discipline throughout the entire game.

2. Henrik Lundqvist: Hank gave the Rangers a chance to win with solid goaltending and assisting on the only goal. One goal of offensive support usually won’t get the job done, however.

3. Matt Gilroy: He’s playing with confidence and it shows. He took 8 shots (4 SOG) during the game and had the other assist on the goal.