MONTREAL — Up and down and up and down the Rangers’ season continues to go. This time the ups and downs came during a single game against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
In what had to be the wildest game they’ve played this season, the Rangers rallied from four goals down to beat Montreal, 6-5, on Saturday night.
Jacob Trouba got the winning goal at 12:10 of the third period before a full house that included plenty of Rangers fans who made the trip up for the weekend in Canada.
“You can’t really create more adversity for yourself than being down] 4-0 in Montreal to the Canadiens,’’ coach David Quinn said proudly, one night after a disappointing 4-1 loss to Ottawa. “We don’t do anything half-hearted, I’ll tell you that. When we stink, we stink; when we’re good, we’re good. And when we fight through adversity, we say, we’re going to fight through adversity.’’
Before the game, Quinn had complained that his team needed to “do a better job understanding that during the course of a game, you might have some bad moments, and if it happens to us early, we’re having a difficult time stopping it and, you know, turning things around.’’
Two goals by Brendan Lemieux, the second coming with his team shorthanded and tying the score at 5 at 8:40 of the third period, helped the Rangers dig all the way out of the 4-0 hole they faced after Shea Weber beat Alexandar Georgiev at 2:51 of the second period.
The comeback began with Filip Chytil one-timing a cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin for his seventh goal at 6:10 of the second period.
Pavel Buchnevich scored a lucky goal at 7:06. He drove to the net and lost the puck as he got to the slot, but the puck bounced off a Canadiens defenseman, ricocheted off the back of goalie Carey Price and slid in.
Two seconds after their first power play of the game expired, the Rangers got their third goal when Lemieux deflected in a shot by Adam Fox at 9:30 for his second goal of the season.
Lemieux, still sporting a black eye suffered in his fight with the Capitals’ Tom Wilson last Wednesday and having lost half a tooth because of a high stick a night earlier, said the Rangers never felt like they were out of the game.
“I heard Coach, when we were down 4-0, say that we were in this game,’’ Lemieux said. “So there was never a specific moment when we knew [a comeback] was real; we just never thought it wasn’t. We stayed with it the whole time.’’
The Canadiens’ Max Domi, the son of former Rangers tough guy Tie Domi, scored two goals in the first period. He swept in a rebound at 2:03 for the game’s first goal and beat Georgiev (38 saves) with a long shot through traffic to make it 3-0 with 33.3 seconds left. In between, Artturi Lehkonen scored the first of his two goals at 10:00.
Lehkonen’s second goal, at 5:20 of the third, put the Canadiens up 5-3. But Quinn juggled his lines trying to find something and Panarin finished a blind backhand pass from Chris Kreider to make it 5-4.
“I felt like we were going to get the ‘W’ at that point,’’ Georgiev said. “We were battling hard through it and [made it a] one-goal game again.’’
Then, with Panarin in the box for an interference penalty, Lemieux and Brett Howden broke away on a two-on-one break, with Howden feeding Lemieux for the tying goal. Just 3 1⁄2 minutes later, Trouba netted the winner.