Canadiens 3, Rangers 1: Rookie Alex Galchenyuk snapped a tie 1:48 into the third period as visiting Montreal earned its fifth consecutive victory.
Max Pacioretty scored for the second straight contest and former Ranger Brandon Prust set up the game-winning goal and finished plus-3 in his first outing at Madison Square Garden since signing with Montreal. Defenseman Raphael Diaz added an empty-net goal and Carey Price returned from a two-game absence to make 24 saves for the Canadiens, who have won eight of the last 11 meetings with their Original Six rival.
Defenseman Anton Stralman scored midway through the second period and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 15 shots for the Rangers, who played without Rick Nash. The top-line forward sat out his first game of the season with an undisclosed injury.
With the contest tied at 1-1, Montreal skated up ice on an odd-man rush after blocking New York defenseman Marc Staal's shot. Prust backhanded a cross-crease pass to Galchenyuk, who alertly tapped the puck out of the air and into the net for his second goal of the season.
Stralman opened the scoring with 7:31 remaining in the second period by finishing a brilliant cross-slot feed from Derek Stepan. Pacioretty leveled the contest with 75 seconds left in the session as he fired a shot from the high slot past a screened Lundqvist. The goal was the second for Pacioretty, who beat Carolina's Cam Ward from center ice on Monday.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Lundqvist received a scare early in the second period when he was drilled in the right shoulder by a shot from Canadiens D P.K. Subban. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was in visible pain for a few moments but remained in the game. ... New York LW Carl Hagelin extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Stralman's goal. The Swede has collected five goals and three assists during the stretch. ... Prust recorded Montreal's first shot with 3:49 remaining in the first period. Prust's wraparound bid was denied by Lundqvist.