Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Montreal Canadiens: The good news: Their performance in Game 2 was head and shoulders better than their showing in Game 1. The bad news: They still lost and are now down 2-0 with the series heading to New York. The Canadiens should know how dangerous of a situation that is considering they did the same thing against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round and went on to sweep the Bolts. Really, the Canadiens didn't have a poor game but if there was one major issue it was related to discipline, or lack thereof. One of the Rangers' goals came on the power play and one penalty that really stung was Thomas Vanek's slash that quickly ended a Canadiens' power play. We know it's never over until it's over but the Habs have to win four of the next five games games with three coming in New York. They are already in the danger zone.
New York Rangers: All hail the King. The Rangers were apparently late to the game, just steamrolled in the opening minutes by the Canadiens but slowly and surely they got their feet in this game. All the while, Lundqvist was holding down the fort in the Rangers end. As the game wore on and the Rangers were able to convert on a couple of chances, they looked to be just taking the life and belief right out of the Canadiens. In particular it helped to get another goal from the power play and another goal from Rick Nash, both of which seem to be revived. It was also impressive how they closed the game, not going into that shell that's akin to the prevent defense in football that just seems to prevent you from winning; they kept the forecheck going and were getting the puck deep. In other words, they kept playing their game and didn't pack in until the final four minutes with Dustin Tokarski pulled from the Habs net. As a team, they can't possibly feel any better than they do right now headed back to New York with a 2-0 lead.
Play of the Game: Remember that Rangers power play that couldn't do a thing? Well now it's doing lots of things, lots of very nice things. The latest was this rocket of a shot from Martin St. Louis right in the heart of the Canadiens PK. It doesn't matter who is in net, no goalie was going to stop this shot from one knee right into the top corner.
Player of the Game: How good is Henrik Lundqvist? So, so good. Remember before the series how one of the stories was Lundqvist's career struggles in Montreal? Well those stories are officially dead as he was again a rock in Game 2. The Canadiens came out with a huge flurry, forcing Lundqvist to make four saves in the first 60 seconds. That set the tempo for the rest of the game and Lundqvist was there for them all but one he tried to punch away but went in the net off Max Pacioretty.
Turning Point: There was no doubt which team was better in the opening minutes, the game was all Montreal. The Habs even got the early lead with a bit of a fluke goal from Max Pacioretty but the fluke favor was returned only 17 seconds later on a Ryan McDonagh shot. Bell Centre was substantially quieted and the Rangers really started to settle into the game from there, slowly wearing down the Habs the rest of the way.
GIF of the Game: So Thomas Vanek, how do you feel about losing the first two games of the series at home? (Via @MyRegularFace.)