Robert Lang grabbed a hat-trick in an explosive third period to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Lang sinks the Ranger
Robert Lang grabbed a hat-trick in an explosive third period to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. After Andrei Markov broke a 2-2 tie early in the final period, Lang unleashed three straight goals to give the Canadiens a fifth win in six contests but their first on New York's home ice in their last five attempts.
"Our power play has been hit or miss, mostly miss, lately," Lang said. "But we were able to get a couple tonight." Montreal move to 23-10-6 and Lang now has 16 goals for the season with four in his last two games. The Rangers (24-15-3) fell into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the Atlantic Division. Henrik Lundqvist, who was coming off his first shutout of the season in New York's 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, surrendered five scores in just 24 shots.
The Rangers were able to stay close in what was a give and take game before the third period. Chris Drury tied things for New York in the first, following up Alexei Kovalev's opening score. Guillaume Latendresse put Montreal up 2-1 before Ryan Callan answered with his 12th goal of the season struck in the second. Michal Rozsival pulled the Rangers to within 4-3 in the third after back-to-back power play goals by Markov and Lang, who added two more scores to put the game away and complete the hard-fought victory.
"When you pick up the paper and look at the score, it's going to be hard to believe," said the Rangers captain Drury. "I thought we did a lot of good things in this game. I thought we played a really solid game in a lot of areas." Meanwhile, in other action on the ice, Steve Bernier scored two goals in a 12-second span late in the second period to help the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers.
Bernier also claimed an assist, Alexandre Burrows netted a goal and set up two others and Ryan Kesler added a pair of assists for Vancouver. New signing Mats Sundin was eased into the line-up during his first game with the Canucks. Jason LaBarbera, another recent addition, made 23 saves to improve to 2-0-2 since arriving from the Los Angeles Kings in a December 30 trade. Robert Nilsson and Erik Cole scored and Dwayne Roloson turned aside 18 shots for the Oilers, who were handed their third consecutive defeat.
* With Agencies