Montreal Canadiens' Kenny Agostino takes a shot on New York...

Montreal Canadiens' Kenny Agostino takes a shot on New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Montreal. Credit: AP/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL – Alexandar Georgiev was mad at himself. And he took it out on his goal stick.

The Rangers goalie destroyed his stick early in the second period Saturday after giving up the third Canadiens goal in the Rangers' 5-2 loss. Afterward, he seemed embarrassed by his momentary loss of composure.

“It was just pretty crushing when they scored the third goal,’’ said Georgiev, who made 36 saves. “All of them, two-on-ones. The second and third [goals], I felt like I could have saved at least one of them. So, just showing emotion. It was not the best of me.’’

But his coach, David Quinn, didn’t mind Georgiev’s display at all. In fact, Quinn said he liked it.

“Yeah, I do, because I thought he played well after that,’’ he said of Georgiev. “He made some big saves to keep it 4-2, and then we had an unbelievable chance to make it 4-3 right at the end [of the second period] there. [Ryan] Strome had the wide open net and we weren’t able to capitalize. It’s a whole different game at 4-3 going into the third.’’

Coach has Skjei's back

Quinn defended Brady Skjei, who stopped playing to argue a penalty call and allowed the Canadiens to score their second goal.

“He reacted to the penalty,’’ Quinn said of Skjei. “He’s not the only one that’s done it in this league – guys do that. They throw their arms in the air and they look around, instead of keep playing. It’s not just Brady. A lot of guys do it in the league. And we got burnt by it. The other guys stopped skating, too. It wasn’t just Brady. Everybody stopped skating.’’

Lettieri rebuilds confidence

When Vinni Lettieri got the news last month that he was being sent down to AHL Hartford, he knew he couldn’t allow himself to feel sorry for himself. 

“It’s not really a disappointment or time to sulk,’’ the right wing said after Saturday’s morning skate. “It’s better just to get down there and do your thing . . . I played a lot of minutes down there, so I just kind of do what I could do best and kept working.’’

Lettieri played four games and had three goals and two assists, and when an injury to Vladislav Namestnikov left the Rangers with only 11 healthy forwards, the team recalled Lettieri on Friday.

Lettieri, who made the Rangers out of training camp, played 14 games and did not score a point, and he struggled to make an impression once the season started and he was limited to fourth-line ice time. He got plenty of ice time in Hartford, though, and rebuilt his confidence. Now, can he find a way to use his confidence to help him make an impact in limited ice time with the Rangers?

“I really have no choice,’’ he said. “I’ve got to make sure the way I’m playing in 15, 20 minutes down there is the same as I’m playing in five to 10, to 15 up here.’’

Lettieri was in the lineup in Montreal. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo was the lone healthy scratch.

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