NEW YORK (AP) — Cole Caufield scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Sam Montembeault made 38 saves to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Caufield converted a pass from captain Nick Suzuki at 8:56 of the final period for the decisive goal. Caufield leads the Canadiens with 26 goals and has scored in seven of Montreal’s last eight games.
Kirby Dach also scored for Montreal, which was coming off a 2-1 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. The Canadiens have four wins in their last 16 games. They are 4-11-1 since Dec. 12.
Montembeault denied a point-blank chance by Panarin with four minutes to go, and he made 13 saves in the third period to improve to 8-7-2 this season.
Artemi Panarin scored for the Rangers, who had won five of their last six games and had points in seven-straight, with a 5-0-2 mark. They hadn’t lost in regulation since dropping a 4-0 decision at home against Washington on Dec. 27.
Follow every game: Latest NHL Scores and Schedules
New York is still 6-2-2 in its last 10 games and 13-3-2 since Dec. 5.
After a scoreless first, Dach notched his eighth of the season at 4:54 of the second with assists to Christian Dvorak and Cole Caufield.
Panarin tied the game for New York at 16:03 of the second with his 12th goal. He leads the Rangers with 47 points, including 35 assists.
The Rangers outshot the Canadiens 14-10 in the first period. Both teams had 12 shots in the second.
NOTES: Montreal scratched forward Jake Evans, who was injured during Saturday’s loss to the Islanders, in addition to goaltender Jake Allen and defenseman Chris Wideman. … The Rangers scratched injured forward Chris Kreider for the second straight game and also scratched forward Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Libor Hajek. … The teams meet again March 9 in Montreal. … The Rangers won the teams’ previous meeting, 4-1 in Montreal on Jan. 5.
Rangers: At Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
Canadiens: Hosting Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports