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Canadiens hold off Rangers for rare road victory

Jan 14, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA;  Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault (35) tracks the puck against the New York Islanders during the second period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Caufield scored the tiebreaking goal with 11:04 remaining in regulation and Sam Montembeault made 38 saves as the Montreal Canadiens snapped a seven-game road losing streak with Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

With the game tied at 1-1, New York defenseman K’Andre Miller lost control of the puck behind his own net just before the midway portion of the third period. Montreal’s Nick Suzuki took possession and sent it in front of the net for a wide-open Caufield to bury for his 26th goal — gaining a lead the visitors would not give up en route to ending their 0-6-1 road slide.

Montembeault, meanwhile, was stellar while getting the call for a second straight day after stopping 36 shots during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to the New York Islanders. He was particularly stout late in the third period, coming up with a host of key saves as New York made its final push.

Artemi Panarin had a goal and Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves for the Rangers, who suffered their first regulation loss of the new year to end a 5-0-2 stretch.

The two teams combined for 24 shots in the first period, but it remained scoreless after 20 minutes. However, that changed during the second.

Montreal opened the scoring 4:54 into the second period. On the power play, Kirby Dach sent home a perfect cross-slot pass from Christian Dvorak to give the Canadiens their first 1-0 lead in 10 games. Caufield added a secondary assist.

With 27 points on the season, Dach topped his career-best 26 set through 70 games in 2021-22.

The Rangers, though, answered with 3:47 remaining in the middle frame. Panarin crossed through the slot and shot the puck amid traffic and in for his 12th goal of the season.

Though Miller’s mistake led to Montreal’s tiebreaking goal, he picked up an assist Sunday to extend his point streak to six games.

Rangers forward Chris Kreider missed his second straight game due to an upper-body injury.

–Field Level Media