NEW YORK (AP) - Sergei Kostitsyn snapped a third-period tie with a deflected goal and the Montreal Canadiens stretched their winning streak to six with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night in the 600th meeting between the Original Six rivals. soccer jerseys
Kostitsyn nudged the puck in front and was rewarded when it caromed in off the skate of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov at 5:59. Frustrated goalie Henrik Lundqvist bent over backward and stared at the ceiling in disgust.
Montreal's winning streak is its longest since an eight-game spurt in 2006. The Canadiens built their playoff cushion over the ninth-place Rangers to seven points. New York dropped three points behind Boston and the Eastern Conference's postseason cutoff.
Glen Metropolit staked the Canadiens to a 1-0 lead in the first with a power-play goal. Sean Avery made it 1-1 in the second for New York, which was outshot 35-20.
Jaroslav Halak has been in goal for each victory in the Canadiens' streak. Tomas Plekanec's empty-net, short-handed goal with 35.5 seconds left sealed the win.
Lundqvist was tested heavily after needing to make only 17 saves in a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Sunday. The Rangers will face St. Louis at home Thursday and then play eight of their final 11 on the road.
Avery tied it 2:02 into the second on New York's first shot of the period and seventh of the game. Avery got credit for the goal when defenseman Matt Gilroy's shot from the right point hit him while Avery was being knocked to the ice by hulking defenseman Hal Gill.
It was Avery's 11th goal of the season and third in two games since he was benched for the Rangers' win at Atlanta on Friday. Avery scored twice Sunday in his return to the lineup.
Montreal used its NHL-best road power play to take a 1-0 lead. While Brandon Prust was off for holding, former Rangers center Scott Gomez cleanly won a faceoff against Chris Drury and got the puck to Andrei Markov in the slot. Markov's drive clipped Metropolit and caromed past the surprised Lundqvist at 3:34 for his 16th this season _ 10th on the power play.
The Canadiens finished the pedestrian first period with a 9-6 shots advantage. The game played out much differently than the teams' previous two meetings: a 6-0 Canadiens win in Montreal on Jan. 23, and New York's 6-2 home victory six days earlier.
Metropolit nearly netted another goal in the second, but his hard drive was deflected at the last moment by Lundqvist's quick glove. A later drive by Markov was deflected off the crossbar behind the Rangers goalie and into the protective netting out of play.
Despite getting even, the Rangers recorded only five shots on Halak in the middle frame. Montreal posted 18, but couldn't get a puck past Lundqvist.
NOTES: Montreal is 318-185-94-3 against the Rangers, including a 122-122-54-2 mark in 300 games at New York. ... Halak was 1-3 with a 4.11 goals-against average in four previous starts at Madison Square Garden. ... The Rangers are 37-19-10 against Original Six teams the 2005-06 season. They are 10-7-3 vs. Montreal in that span.