The amount of colorless adjectives to describe the Rangers’ 3-1 loss to the Canadiens last night at the Garden were plentiful. But instead of trying, just listen to coach John Tortorella make it as simple as possible. “Two bad teams playing and we were worse than they were,” Tortorella said, ending his 60-second postgame press conference without protest. “Pretty much sums it up, huh?” Yes, it does, as the Canadiens (11-4-1) and coach Michel Therrien found a way to resurrect the neutral-zone trapping Devils of the pre-2004 lockout, getting over the second game of a back-to-back by collapsing in, shutting down the middle of the ice, and taking advantage of opportunities when presented. It didn’t help that the Rangers (8-6-1) were missing superstar forward Rick Nash, out with an undisclosed injury, along with penalty-kill specialist Darroll Powe. But Nash would have had to been electric to come close to giving the Rangers enough life to win. Instead, his absence ending the team’s five-game points streak as it heads to Ottawa and Montreal on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. “They play it extremely boring,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who shook off a monstrous second-period slap shot from P.K. Subban to his right shoulder and plowed on to make 15 saves. “They’re a smart team. They didn’t give up much and they were just waiting for mistakes.” The one mistake that seemed to turn the tide came late in the second period with the Rangers up 1-0 on a goal from Anton Stralman. Chasing the puck whacked from the Canadiens zone back behind his own net — for what could have been time No. 359 during a game of chip-and-chase that would have been dizzying if not so tiring — Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto touched up what he thought would be an icing call.
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