Canadiens hold on to beat Rangers 3-2

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens scored three goals in less than three minutes then survived a furious late fightback from the New York Rangers before holding on for a 3-2 win on Saturday.

The Rangers opened the scoring in the first period when Brian Boyle found the net but the Canadiens (25-17-3) hit back with quick three goals, Roman Hamrlik and Tomas Plekanec scoring on successive powerplays then Andrei Kostitsyn adding a third.

The Canadiens outplayed the Rangers in the second period but New York's All-Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist produced a series of great saves to keep his team in a game dominated by outstanding goaltending.

"The power play got us two goals and numerous chances. If it weren't for their goaltender, we could have put the game away in the second period."

Lundqvist took exception to being hit in the crease by Montreal's Max Pacioretty late in the second period and responded by striking the winger with his blocker.

"I lost it a little bit," Lundqvist said. "It's hard to stay calm.

"But it wasn't too bad. If he was standing up, I probably wouldn't have gone after him."

Mats Zuccarello pulled one goal back for the Rangers with 13 minutes to go but Carey Price made 20 saves in a frantic final quarter to seal the Canadiens' win.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Julian Linden)