Ice Hockey - Rangers beat Montreal for two-game series lead

The visiting New York Rangers overcame a spirited start by the Montreal Canadians with some brilliant goaltending and a string of three goals for a 3-1 win to seize a commanding 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ice Hockey - Rangers beat Montreal for two-game series lead

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New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) celebrates the win over the Montreal Canadiens with team-mates Kevin Klein (8) and Marc Staal (18) and Derek Stepan (21) (Reuters)

Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist stopped 40 of 41 shots, frustrating a slew of scoring chances with a rock-steady performance in the face of relentless pressure.

Goals by Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis answered an intial score by the Canadiens to send the series back to New York's Madison Square Garden for Game Three on Thursday.

The swarming, determined Canadiens, playing with untested rookie Dustin Tokarski in the net for injured goalie Carey Price, peppered Lundqvist with shots and took a 1-0 lead at 6:14 on a richocet goal in front of the net by Max Pacioretty.

Seventeen seconds later the Rangers equalized on an unassisted goal by Ryan McDonagh, whose blast bounced off Montreal's Josh Gorges and past the 24-year-old Tokarski, starting his eighth NHL game and first playoff contest.

The Rangers took the lead with one minute left in the first period on a three-on-two break as Chris Kreider whipped a cross-ice pass to Rick Nash, who one-timed it past Tokarski to make it 2-1 for New York, who were outshot 14-9 in the period.

New York increased the lead when Marty St. Louis scored a picture book goal from the middle of the ice into the upper right corner of the net at 8:03 of the third period that made it 3-1 and Lundqvist made the lead stand up.

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