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Habs surprise red-hot Rangers

Canadiens goalie Budaj is congratulated on win over Rangers by teammate Subban following third period NHL hockey action in Montreal
Canadiens goalie Budaj is congratulated on win over Rangers by teammate Subban following third period NHL hockey action in Montreal

(Reuters) - Montreal's Max Pacioretty scored twice as the Canadiens rose to the occasion with a 4-1 victory over the NHL-leading New York Rangers on Sunday.

Having managed only three goals in three consecutive losses, the Canadiens picked the perfect time to catch fire.

"We had everyone rolling, everyone was on board with the same game plan and that's why we had success," Pacioretty told reporters.

Pacioretty opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game and after New York's John Mitchell made it 1-1 10 minutes later, the Canadiens' winger put the home team back in front at 3:54 of the second period.

Montreal then pulled away from the Rangers with Michael Blunden and David Desharnais also scoring in the second.

Habs netminder Peter Budaj had 28 saves in the win.

"We weren't able to build momentum," said New York center Brad Richards. "We would make one mistake and it would be in our net because of some of the uncharacteristic breakdowns we had."

The Rangers have had little success in Montreal and have now lost six in a row at the Bell Centre.

Montreal coach Randy Cunneyworth, who took over for the fired Jacques Martin about a month ago, has had his work cut out getting his team to buy into the new system.

But the Canadiens are showing positive signs after earning a point in an overtime loss to Ottawa on Saturday.

The Canadiens' new acquisition Rene Bourque made his debut after being traded from Calgary last week but did not record a point. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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