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Canadiens 3, Rangers 0

The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Carey Price made 34 saves for his third shutout, Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored first-period goals, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 3-0 on Saturday night.

P.K. Subban had three assists for Montreal, including on Brendan Gallagher's power-play goal midway through the second.

Price posted his 19th career shutout three nights after he was pulled after the second period in Boston.

Montreal came back from a 4-2 deficit Wednesday night for a 6-5 shootout victory as backup Petr Budaj stopped all six Bruins shooters in the tie-breaker for his fifth win in seven games.

The Canadiens extended their Northeast Division lead with 49 points, three ahead of Boston, which lost to Philadelphia.

Martin Biron stopped 23 shots for New York, which lost 3-0 in Ottawa on Thursday night. The Rangers, whose goal-less drought reached 127 minutes, 47 seconds, have three wins in their last 10 games (3-6-1).

The Canadiens have won eight in a row at home against the Rangers.

Montreal improved to 10-0-1 in its last 11 games against New York at the Bell Centre, including the Rangers' 4-3 shootout win on March 17, 2009. New York has not won in regulation in Montreal since Feb. 3, 2008.

Ryder took advantage of a fortunate bounce while both teams were changing lines to open the scoring 47 seconds in. The Canadiens left wing dumped the puck into the left corner and recovered it in front when it bounced off the end boards and the side of the net before slipping a shot past Biron for his 13th goal.

Plekanec made it 2-0 with his 13th goal on a 2-on-1 at 18:11. The Czech center drove the right side with Subban to his left and elected to shoot from the top of the right faceoff circle, where he drove a slap shot past Biron into the top left corner.

Rangers right wing Rick Nash was given a minor for goaltender interference after he slammed into Price midway through the second.

Gallagher made it a three-goal lead at 11:02 when he scored his 11th during the ensuing power play.

NOTES: Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello made his season debut after signing as a free agent on Thursday. Zuccarello had 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 44 games this season in Russia with KHL Magnitogorsk Metallurg. The 25-year-old Norwegian had eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points in 52 games with the Rangers over parts of the last two seasons. ... Canadiens left wing Brandon Prust returned after missing eight games because of a left shoulder injury. Prust left the Rangers in the off-season to sign a free agent contract with Montreal, a four-year, $10-million deal. The Canadiens' team leader in penalty minutes with 81 entering Saturday night's game, Prust had four goals and five assists for nine points in 25 games prior to his injury. ... Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu made his NHL debut and was paired with veteran Francis Bouillon. Beaulieu was the Canadiens' first-round pick, 17th overall, in the 2011 draft. He had six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in 62 games with AHL Hamilton when he was recalled by Montreal on Friday.
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