The Rangers are looking for a win.
Two nights ago, the Russian winger scored a momentous goal when he jammed home a rebound late in overtime to help the Canadiens avoid going down 2-0 to the Rangers. The Rangers' previous home playoff win was in Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay.
The team needs to focus on their offensive play and get as many shots on Carey Price as possible.
Pacioretty's own game in this series mirrors that same complexity. Montreal looked very bad in game one but they have rebounded with back to back victories and have shut down the Rangers offense since that time and while they haven't been lighting the lamp at a head turning pace they are doing enough to give Carey Price some breathing room and that is risky territory for the Rangers.
There are 13 current Rangers who were on the National Hockey League roster the last time the club won a playoff game on home ice entering Tuesday's Game 4 against Montreal at the Garden. Yet Lundqvist was helpless on Mitchell's two-on-one goal to tie the game at 18:37 of the first after Alexander Radulov took the puck from Brady Skjei and Mitchell and Shea Weber worked a give-and-go, with Mitchell, on the left, shooting it into an empty net.
"We're really focusing on our game and we're focusing on what we need to do to have success", Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. D Nick Holden, who played the first two games of the series before being scratched for Game 3, was back for Game 4.
The Rangers looked like a completely different team than the one that blew a two-goal lead in Game 2 and were outclassed throughout Game 3.
The game hero and Broadway hat recipient Nash was asked about the character of the team and went on to say, "We came back after a tough loss".
Lineup switches could do the Rangers some good, especially if Alain Vigneault returns Pavel Buchnevich to the lineup. NY outshot Montreal, 32-24, and forced the Canadiens into 16 giveaways. I'm not one to complain about the officiating, by my word, the Canadiens practically assaulted Brendan Smith in the third period, and were never called once for a penalty.
The main statistical difference was Lundqvist had faced 118 shots - he made a career playoff-high 54 saves in the Rangers' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2, a.k.a. We've got to do a better job of sticking with it, sticking with the system, and trusting it when you're down.
For the first three games we talked about how well the Canadiens' top pair had been playing - about how well they had shut down Chris Kreider, about how they drove the Canadiens comeback in Game 2, about how they chewed up 3 period minutes while defending the lead in Game 3.
Lundqvist, who now has a 1.89 goals-against average and.944 save percentage in the series, had his toughest stops occur on Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw in the first, and on an Alex Galchenyuk shot in the third where the NY goaltender turned to find the puck alongside the far post.
Nash had a chance to double the Rangers' advantage on the power play with 5:39 left in the period, but his rush toward the net took out Price before the puck trickled into the net.
"They're playing very well defensively", said NY coach Alain Vigneault, who added that the Rangers' fourth line of Tanner Glass, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg has been his best forward combination.
Minnesota Wild's Jared Spurgeon (46) controls the puck against St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the third period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Friday, April 14, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.
The Rangers have learned that the Habs have a difficult time catching up when they're playing hard and fast; this is the game they need to have if they want the control. He didn't have a shot on goal, but he was Montreal's best faceoff performer winning six of his nine draws. The Rangers managed just 21 shots on goal in Game 3 and had 21 giveaways, including 10 in the first period. Weber one-timed a feed from Alex Galchenyuk past Lundqvist to finish off a sequence that began with Jeff Petry knocking the puck off Rick Nash's stick in the defensive zone to start the counterattack. We've got lots of training staff, and we know to prepare for the next game.
The visitors became more aggressive in the third period but struggled to get many legitimate chances at the net. Nikita Nesterov found himself glued to the bench after a mistake that led to Michael Grabner's breakaway goal in the first period and has been shaky in both games.