Lafreniere’s third period goal proves to be the winner as Rangers defeat Canadiens

Alexis Lafreniere scored his first goal of the season and the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1.

MONTREAL — Alexis Lafreniere’s third-period goal proved to be the winner as the New York Rangers claimed a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

Lafreniere, of Saint-Eustache, Que., scored for New York (1-1-1) just 26 seconds after Jonathan Drouin pulled Montreal (0-3) even.

New York broke the ice in the second period on its fourth power-play opportunity. Lafreniere’s shot deflected off Chris Kreider, then Alexander Romanov, before sliding across the goal-line. Kreider was credited with the goal, his third of the season.

Christian Dvorak circled around the back of the net and found Drouin, who beat New York netminder Igor Shesterkin to make it 1-1 at 9:24 of the third.

Lefreniere responded 26 seconds later with his first goal of the season. With the Bell Centre gathering still buzzing over Drouin’s goal, Lefreniere beat Montreal goaltender Jake Allen to put New York back ahead.

Lafreniere’s hometown is just north of Montreal and he was visiting the Bell Centre for the first time in his career. And the 2020 first overall pick made it count with a game-winning goal.

Kevin Rooney rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal for New York.

Shesterkin was solid in goal, stopping 31 shots while Allen made 21 saves.

The Canadiens once again failed to convert on the power play. They’re a dismal 0-for-11 this season.

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