What it means: Although only 1-for-9 on the power play, the Rangers beat the Canadiens 5-3 to collect their third straight win for the first time this season and snap Montreal's four-game winning streak. After the Rangers built a 3-0 lead in the first, the Canadiens whittled the lead to one goal with less than two minutes remaining on Brian Gionta's slapshot through traffic, but the Rangers held on to improve to 6-3-3 on the season.
A-very special night: The crowd at Madison Square Garden erupted when fan favorite Sean Avery stepped onto the ice for his first shift around the seven-minute mark of the first period. Avery, who played 4:46 over seven shifts, made his season debut after being waived by the team in early October. The 31-year-old agitator was placed on re-entry waivers Monday and recalled after clearing Tuesday. He was a healthy scratch in Thursday's 2-1 shootout win over the Sharks.
Penalty parade: Beneficiaries of an undisciplined Canadiens team, the Rangers had nine power plays in total Saturday, but scored on only one of them. They spent much of the first period -- 10:59 to be exact -- on the power play with Montreal parading to the box for a combined total of 32 penalty minutes. Erik Christensen scored the lone man-up goal, tallying on a 5-on-3 advantage at 4:57 to give the Rangers a 1-0 first-period lead.
Captain drops gloves: Captain Ryan Callahan, who scored an empty-net goal with less than 39 seconds remaining, went after Mike Blunden after Blunden leveled Brandon Dubinsky in the neutral zone at 4:18 of the first. Blunden and Callahan both received five-minute fighting majors, while Blunden received an extra two minutes for interference for his hit on Dubinsky. A total of 48 minutes in penalties was delivered on the play and resulting scrum.
Tough trade: The Rangers played most of the game without defenseman Michael Sauer. Taking a cue from his captain, Sauer dropped the gloves against Petteri Nokelainen. Because of rule 46.7, which prohibits fighting after the original altercation, both players were ejected from the game.
Crushin' it: With a goal and an assist, Christensen now has four points (one goal, three assists ) in his last three games, as well as a shootout goal in Thursday's win.
Injured reserve: The Rangers placed both Mike Rupp (knee) and Wojtek Wolski (groin) on injured reserve. Rupp will undergo arthroscopic knee next week; Wolski underwent an MRI on Saturday and will visit an abdominal/groin specialist in Philadelphia on Monday.
Help is on the way: The Rangers officially announced that 25-year-old Swedish defenseman Anton Stralman agreed to terms, as ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday. The one-way deal is worth $900,000. Stralman arrived in New York on Saturday afternoon, although coach John Tortorella said he had “no idea” when he’d be available to play.
Up Next: Rangers vs. Jets, 7 p.m Sunday.