The Canadiens, however, left as the happier of the teams after they rallied to gut out a 3-1 win Tuesday night that stretched Montreal's winning streak to five and ended the Rangers' run at points at five (4-0-1).
"I thought it was probably one of the worst hockey games I've been involved in. Both teams," terse Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It was two bad teams playing, and we worse than they were.
"That pretty much sums it up, huh?"
The clubs combined for eight shots in the scoreless first period. They both mustered a goal in the second, and Montreal connected for two in the third — including an empty-netter.
Alex Galchenyuk broke the tie to put the Canadiens ahead for good. Montreal had 18 shots and made the most of little offense against Henrik Lundqvist.
"We were just really focused on getting the win," Galchenyuk said. "On the road, this was huge for us."
The Canadiens clogged up the middle to keep the Rangers from many scoring chances, either.
"It's a game of patience when you play a team like this," Lundqvist said. "They play extremely boring, but they're a smart team and they didn't give up much.
"We played a pretty good game. We just didn't come up with the big plays in the end."
The Canadiens tied it late in the second period on Max Pacioretty's goal and went ahead when Galchenyuk matched Pacioretty with his second of the season 1:48 into the third.
Carey Price was only slightly busier than Lundqvist, and made 24 saves for his third win in the Canadiens' surge. Peter Budaj won the previous two, including a 3-0 home victory over Carolina on Monday.
Raphael Diaz added an empty-net goal with 1:06 remaining for Montreal, which has outscored opponents 15-5 in its streak. The Canadiens didn't arrive in New York until the early morning hours Tuesday.
Defenseman Anton Stralman netted his second of the season in the second period, but it wasn't enough for the Rangers, who played without top-line forward Rick Nash.
Nash was ruled out about an hour before the game because of an undisclosed injury.
Brian Boyle nearly tied it with about 6 minutes left, but his short-handed chance hit the post. New York received its second power play with 3:06 left but couldn't cash in.
Despite registering only 10 shots in the first two periods, Montreal entered the third locked in a tie.
"That was a pretty gutsy road game," Price said. "Not easy to play against a team like that in their building. We played our style well.
"The first period was strange — no shots for either team for 10 minutes."
Montreal then pulled out the win in the third period.
Galchenyuk finished off a play that began with an odd-man rush. Rangers captain Ryan Callahan got back and had a chance to break it up, but couldn't. Lars Eller moved the puck down to former Rangers forward Brandon Prust near the right post, and Prust quickly got it in front to Galchenyuk, who lifted a rising shot that caromed in off the crossbar.
"Throughout the game we kept telling ourselves to be patient with it, get pucks in deep," Callahan said. "We tried to focus on not turning the puck over. Unfortunately in the third, we turn one over, got a 3-on-1 against us, and it ends up being the winner."
The Canadiens got even with 1:15 left in the second when Josh Gorges carried the puck in the Rangers end along the left-wing boards and flung a pass to the middle. Pacioretty ripped a drive from the high slot that beat Lundqvist inside the right post.
Pacioretty, who missed four games from Jan. 27-Feb. 2 because of appendicitis, scored for the second straight night. He has two goals and three assists in three games.
Stralman had given New York the lead with his second of the season, scored with 7:31 left in the second. During a delayed penalty, Derek Stepan made a pass from the left side to Stralman at the right post. The defenseman's first shot was stopped by Price's pad, but Stralman then knocked the rebound past him.
Neither the Rangers nor Canadiens showed a whole lot of drive in an uneventful first period that featured no goals, one penalty and a total of eight shots — including five by New York. Montreal didn't record its first shot of the game until only 3:49 remained in the first, when Prust pushed the puck in on Lundqvist from in-close.
"I was definitely amped up for this," said Prust, who played parts of three seasons with New York before leaving this past offseason. "Ranger fans were happy with my time here. I respect them. I heard a few cheers."
NOTES: Stralman has his two goals in a four-game span. ... Montreal has allowed five shots in the first period in each of its past three games. ... Carl Hagelin earned an assist for New York, but his four-game goal streak was snapped. ... Montreal was whistled for two penalties. The Rangers were called for one. ... Brandon Mashinter and Chris Kreider were in the New York lineup for Nash and Darroll Powe (concussion).
Blackhawks 4, Vancouver 3 SO
CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday night to give them 16 straight games with at least one point, matching the NHL record to start a season.
Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw scored in the tiebreaker for the Blackhawks (13-0-3), who earned their third consecutive win and joined the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as the only teams to record at least one point in the first 16 games of a season. The Ducks got off to a 12-0-4 start that year and won the Stanley Cup.
Chicago will go for the record Friday night when it hosts the San Jose Sharks for the second time in a week. But it could be without Marian Hossa for that one after the star forward had to be helped off the ice during the third period following a forearm to the back of the head from Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen.
Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa each scored in the final 2:42 of regulation for the Canucks, who opened a four-game trip with their third consecutive loss. Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist, and twin brother Henrik had two assists.
Hossa had two goals and Patrick Sharp scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, who have won seven of eight overall. Ray Emery, subbing again for injured Corey Crawford, made 29 saves to improve to 6-0 this season.
LIGHTNING 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos scored his 10th goal and Benoit Pouliot had three assists as Tampa Bay beat Toronto.
Vincent Lecavalier, Alexander Killorn and Matthew Carle also scored for the Lightning, who have won two in a row after an 0-5-1 skid.
Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens had his bid for a third consecutive shutout thwarted midway through the first period on Lecavalier's goal. The Maple Leafs, 7-3-0 on the road this year, got goals from Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk.
JETS 2, SABRES 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves to help Winnipeg snap a three-game skid with a win over Buffalo.
Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little scored for the Jets, who won for the third time in 10 games while opening a season-high five-game road swing.
Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo, once again booed by its home crowd. The Sabres are 4-10-1 in their past 15 and have dropped consecutive home games for the first time since last February.
SENATORS 3, ISLANDERS 1
OTTAWA — Andre Benoit and Dave Dziurzynski scored their first NHL goals, and Craig Anderson made 37 saves to lead Ottawa over New York.
Colin Greening also scored for the Senators.
Travis Hamonic scored for the Islanders, who got 23 saves from Rick DiPietro in his third start this season.
PREDATORS 4, RED WINGS 3, OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Shea Weber scored 44 seconds into overtime to give Nashville a victory against slumping Detroit.
Craig Smith, Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators, who had lost their last two games. The Red Wings have dropped four straight.
Daniel Cleary, Jordin Tootoo and Pavel Datsyuk had the Detroit goals.
Coming down the right side, Weber collected the rebound of Colin Wilson's shot and beat a diving Jonas Gustavsson, who replaced injured goalie Jimmy Howard midway through the first period.
SHARKS 2, BLUES 1
ST. LOUIS — Antti Niemi made 25 saves and Tim Kennedy scored in the third period to help San Jose end a seven-game losing streak with a victory over St. Louis.
The Sharks' skid was their longest since a 10-game slide in November 2005.
Joe Thornton also scored for San Jose, which began the season with a franchise-record seven successive wins.
St. Louis has dropped five consecutive home games. The Blues also had a three-game winning streak halted. They were coming off a 3-0 road trip with wins in Detroit, Calgary and Vancouver.
Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal at 13:02 on a shot from the left faceoff circle that eluded goalie Jake Allen, who had won the first three starts of his career.