Habs fans keep the faith after devastating Game 1 loss

The Montreal Canadiens' humiliating 7-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the NHL's eastern conference final was a blow to fans' morale.

Habs say they let fans down in 7-2 loss to New York Rangers

Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta said Saturday's 7-2 loss was a major disappointment, but that the team needed to keep its eyes on the prize. 2:08

The Montreal Canadiens' humiliating 7-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the NHL's eastern conference final was a blow to fans' morale.

By the middle of the third period at Montreal's Bell Centre, fans had already begun streaming out of the arena.

It was Montreal's worst playoff defeat since losing 8-2 to Carolina in 2002.

CBC Montreal reporter Tanya Birkbeck spoke to a couple of visibly disappointed fans after the game.

"I didn't like our energy," Jay said. "It didn't look like the first game of a third-round series. The Rangers capitalized on that. But we’ll be back. There’s no trouble. We’re better than them."

Jay's friend Scott said it looked like the players had a hard time tapping into the emotional aspect of the Habs' second-round series against the Boston Bruins.

"There’s no emotional factor. When you play Boston, obviously nobody likes Boston. So the energy [...] wasn’t there. Hopefully we can come back in Game 2," Scott said before Jay cut him off. 

"We will come back in Game 2," Jay interjected.

Habs outplayed by Rangers

The Rangers were hot off a Game 7 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, having made a major comeback after being down in that series 3-1.

The Rangers rallied after news of the death of player Martin St. Louis's mother to win two more games in that series.

On Saturday, that spark that led them to win against the Penguins was again apparent. St. Louis opened the scoring early in the first period and went on to assist in the sixth goal.

Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers scored one and assisted on three other goals Saturday afternoon, making him the standout star of the game. McDonagh entered the NHL after being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round in 2007, but was traded to the Rangers in the Scott Gomez deal of 2009.

Rene Bourque and Lars Eller scored two for the Habs, which saw star goalie Carey Price apparently injure his right leg when he was run over early in the second period. Price was replaced by Peter Budaj after the second period but it was not clear if it was because of an injury.

Game 2 of the Habs-Rangers series plays out at the Montreal Bell Centre on Monday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET

With files from The Canadian Press