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Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev doesn’t get much help in his debut

Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev makes a save against

Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev makes a save against the Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher during the second period on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Montreal. Credit: The Canadian Press via AP / Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — Every athlete goes through days like this. Ideally, though, they don’t happen during your NHL debut.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev had something of a rude introduction to the NHL on Thursday, though in his defense, it was mostly because of the players around him. Despite a strong showing, he allowed two goals on two gaffes as the Canadiens made easy work of a Rangers defense that seemed positively confused at times in a 3-1 loss.

Georgiev, 22, didn’t have much of a shot to stop the first goal he allowed seven minutes into the game — a tap-in by Tomas Plekanec, who was alone near the far post and scored easily on Paul Byron’s pass. That, at least in part, was due to a missed coverage by defenseman Rob O’Gara, who was making his Rangers debut.

Then a messy change and a missed coverage led to a three-on-two by the Canadiens. Brady Skjei tried to block the crease, but a pass from Charles Hudon to a wide-open Jeff Petry made it 2-0 at 3:50 of the second period.

Georgiev, who made 38 saves, was coming off an impressive nine-game stretch with Hartford: an 8-0-1 record with two shutouts and a .948 save percentage.

Ratelle to be honored

Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle will be together again, this time for good. The Rangers on Sunday will retire Ratelle’s No. 19, making him the second member of the legendary GAG line (goal a game) to be honored with a banner in the Garden rafters.

The Hall of Fame center compiled 1,267 points in 21 seasons, including 32 goals in 123 playoff games. He played 16 seasons with the Rangers, won the Lady Byng Trophy four times and captured the Pearson Award — now the Ted Lindsay Award — once.

New York Sports