RANGERS 4, CANADIENS 1: Defenseman Michael Del Zotto recorded his first career two-goal performance and added an assist as New York took the lead in the race for the Presidents' Trophy with its fourth consecutive victory.
Brad Richards scored a goal and set up two others, Marian Gaborik notched a tally and an assist and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for the Rangers, who moved one point ahead of St. Louis for the top spot in the league.
New York reached the 50-win plateau for the third time in franchise history and first since 1993-94.
Gaborik opened the scoring less than nine minutes into the contest with his 39th goal. Gaborik beat Carey Price from the slot on his second attempt at a loose puck for his fourth tally in as many games.
Richards scored from the top of the slot during a power play 30 seconds into the middle session and Del Zotto tallied twice in the third for a 4-0 lead.
After blasting a shot from the left point past Price at 8:17 for a man-advantage goal, Del Zotto beat the All-Star goalie high to the glove side from the high slot with three minutes remaining for his career-high 10th tally.
Rene Bourque spoiled Lundqvist's bid with 2:29 left and Price stopped 25 shots for the Canadiens, who have lost six of seven overall and five straight on the road.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Montreal registered only five shots in the third period. ... Gaborik is one goal away from reaching 40 for the third time in his career. ... Richards has recorded at least one point in 15 of his last 19 games. ... Bourque's tally was his fifth in 34 contests with Montreal and ended his 15-game drought. ... The Canadiens have lost nine of their last 12 visits to Madison Square Garden. ... New York had lost three of five at home.