Rangers win in Montreal for first time in four years
MONTREAL - Cam Talbot wears a mask depicting "Ghostbusters." Coincidence or not, the rookie goaltender helped break his team's hex at Bell Centre Saturday night in the Rangers' 1-0 win over the Canadiens.
Talbot made 22 saves for his first NHL shutout.
Before the Rangers took the ice to try to end an 0-7-1 slide here, coach Alain Vigneault, who isn't superstitious, told his team not to worry about any dark spirits of games past.
"I made the point that there are no ghosts in this building," Vigneault said. "I told the players that I had coached here before and there was nothing to be afraid of."
The Rangers certainly stirred some ancient memories, however. It was the first time the Rangers shut out the Canadiens in Montreal since Feb. 25, 1967, when Ed Giacomin was between the pipes in a 5-0 win.
This one was much tighter.
Ryan Callahan tipped in a long shot by Brad Richards at 5:25 of the second period, three seconds after a five-on-three power play had ended.
The Canadiens had shut out the Rangers in their last four meetings in Montreal, all by Carey Price (33 saves), who again played well against the Rangers. Talbot was named the game's second star and Price was the third. Callahan was named the first star.
Since Feb. 19, 2008, the Rangers had been 1-8-2 in this arena, which holds 21,273 fans. They were mighty restless at times.
Talbot, a rookie who admired Patrick Roy as a youngster, got the start over Henrik Lundqvist, in part because of his performance in his first four games this season (3-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .933 save percentage).
He again was outstanding, hugging the posts and turning away the first attempts to allow the Rangers to corral or knock rebounds out of danger.
"It's going to be something he'll remember for the rest of his life," Vigneault said of Talbot's first shutout. "He's played extremely well in every game."
The Rangers (10-9) also killed two power plays and blocked 15 of 21 shots overall in the first 40 minutes.
"I thought it was one of our best defensive efforts of the year," Anton Stralman said. "The backchecking was great. There was not a lot of running around in our zone, not a lot of desperate plays. Everybody was helping out."
"The guys did a great job of allowing me to see the puck," said Talbot, who was summoned from the AHL to replace Martin Biron last month. "It's been a long time coming for me. Luckily, I got a chance and I keep trying to make the best of it."
Callahan, who scored his sixth goal -- fourth on the power play -- said it was hard to avoid talking about the drought here.
"You guys keep reminding us every time," he said. "We came in and had a good road game, and Talbot, the way he played was unbelievable."
As for future questions about the hex, Richards said: "We're done answering them."
Notes & quotes: Dominic Moore, who missed seven games with a strained oblique, returned to center a terrific effort from a fourth line in which he was flanked by J.T. Miller and Benoit Pouliot. Moore played 13:52 in 19 shifts and won five of six faceoffs . . . Defenseman Justin Falk, subbing for Michael Del Zotto (healthy scratch), played a scrappy 12:11.