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Canadiens end Rangers’ streak with a whimper

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 19: Brian Gionta #21 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates his second period goal during the NHL game against the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre on November 19, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Richard Wolowicz

The New York Rangers came into Montreal with a seven-game winning streak but they likely left the ice with their heads hanging low. The Habs held the Blueshirts to just 17 shots on Saturday night as Carey Price notched an easy shutout and - wait for it - even Scott Gomez looked good. The much-maligned playmaker assisted on two of the Canadiens’ goals as they won 4-0.

There aren’t many excuses for the way the Rangers played on Nov. 19, but there’s one they might lean on a bit: Martin Biron was in net instead of Henrik Lundqvist. Sure, Biron won two of the seven games during that winning streak, but the team doesn’t have much more to hang their hats on following a tough evening.

Ultimately, it’s all about bouncing back because their immediate schedule is formidable. They face the surprisingly strong Florida Panthers and the sure-to-be-angry Washington Capitals to finish this current four-game road trip and then host the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at home.

The Rangers don’t play the Panthers until Wednesday, so that should provide plenty of time for John Tortorella to scream at his squad until he loses his voice. The Rangers have some games in hand on their Atlantic Division foes, but the bottom line is that they can’t sit back on that hot streak if they want to stay in the mix for the top spot.