It took a 62-second outburst in the third period for the Montreal Canadiens to turn a sour mood in the Bell Centre into a celebration.
Alexei Emelin, Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron scored in rapid succession and the Canadiens rebounded after a disputed goal against and the ejection of wing Andrew Shaw for a 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
"It was fun. It felt like a playoff game," Pacioretty said. "It felt like there were a lot of Rangers fans here."
Brandon Pirri, Rick Nash, J.T. Miler and Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers, who were coming off a 4-2 loss at home to Toronto on Friday night. It was the first time in eight occasions New York failed to win the second of back-to-back games this season. It also ended a four-game winning run in road games.
"It was a fast game," Pacioretty said. "And we knew they played (Friday) night and that, if we kept skating their defense, eventually we'd get our breaks."
The Rangers' Antti Raanta played for the first time since Dec. 29 but left in the first period with a lower-body injury after stopping 10 of 10 shots. Henrik Lundqvist replaced him and allowed five goals on 22 shots a night after losing to the Maple Leafs.
Alex Galchenyuk scored in his return after injuring his knee Dec. 4, and Brian Flynn also had a goal for Montreal.
Emelin's wrist shot from the left point went in off defenseman Adam Clendening's back 10:53 into the third frame. Pacioretty then got his 20th of the season on a breakaway only 36 seconds later and, only 26 seconds after that, Byron backhanded the puck in front, and it went in off Clendening's stick.
"Unfortunately in that short span there, we made a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net, but we battled hard," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, adding that "the game got away from us. We tried to battle back at the end and weren't able to get it done."
New York got one back at 14:53 when Mats Zuccarello tipped the puck out and Stepan batted it in out of the air at the side of the net.
Montreal had Galchenyuk and Shaw back from injuries, but Shaw's game lasted only 16:56 before he was tossed. Shaw's interference penalty nullified a Montreal goal at 4:00, and then he knocked Jesper Fast over with an open ice-hit and fought Miller, drawing an interference major, a fighting major and a game misconduct. Fast was shaken up but stayed in the game.
The Rangers needed only four seconds into a power play to get the opening goal when Pirri wired a shot off a goalpost and in at 12:24 of the first period.
Galchenyuk scored 3:08 into the second with a deflection of Mark Barberio's point shot, but Nash got it back on a disputed goal at 6:20.
Carey Price made a brilliant save on Kevin Hayes' breakaway, but then Hayes got a skate caught in Price's pads. Hayes appeared to pull Price out of the crease, allowing Nash to score into an empty net. After video review, it was ruled a good goal, and the sellout Bell Centre crowd booed long and loud.
Montreal got it back at 7:58 when Flynn scored from a scramble in front of Lundqvist, but Miller put New York back ahead when he finished a short-handed 2-on-1 with Hayes after Galchenyuk lost the puck on the right point. It marked the seventh time in eight games that Price has allowed three or more goals.
NOTES: Price made 29 saves. ... Montreal's Michel Therrien coached his 800th NHL game.
Rangers: Return home to face Dallas on Tuesday night.
Canadiens: Play at Detroit on Monday.