After losing each of their first two games of the season, these already felt like desperate times for the Rangers, at least based on the lineup decisions Alain Vigneault made Sunday.
It wasn’t necessarily unexpected that Henrik Lundqvist, one night removed from being pulled after a first period in which he allowed five goals, went right back in net. But it was surprising rookie forward Filip Chytil and defenseman Brendan Smith were each scratched and that Vigneault dressed seven defensemen.
Vigneault described his club’s match against Montreal as “a big game,” and the Rangers pulled it out as Lundqvist pitched a 34-save shutout, 2-0, for the team’s first win of the season after Saturday’s 8-5 debacle in Toronto.
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