But it was only a difference maker because the rest of his teammates followed suit with passionate play of their own.
Radulov, who'd played all of nine National Hockey League games since 2008 before returning on a one-year, $5.75 million deal with Montreal, is looking like a bargain.
On the bright side, Henrik Lundqvist is playing at the top of his game, and the Rangers wrestled home-ice advantage away from the Canadiens.
Later in the period, the Rangers would once again turn the puck over, and Alexander Radulov would make them pay with the Canadiens' third goal of the game. The Rangers came into the playoffs with just two fewer points than the Canadiens who were the Atlantic division champions so there was a ton of hope for them to pull off a modest first round upset and play their way into the Atlantic division bracket but they are going to have to come out with one of their best games of the season in this one or they could fall victim to another early playoff exit. There's no reason to think the Rangers, if they can maintain this level of intensity and with Lundqvist strong, can't win two of the next three, if necessary.
Somehow this and 54 saves was not enough. It starts with that.
That they did as Lundqvist's counterpart, Carey Price (30 saves), was almost as good but still the second-best goalie with the Rangers creating more havoc around his crease. "A lot of one and dones", captain Ryan McDonagh said.
Mitchell, who has 17 points in 72 playoff games, brings speed and experience to the fourth line. "The other night was a frustrating one".
Game 4 is Tuesday night in San Jose. The Swedish goalie has posted a.941 save percentage in the series.
The visitors became more aggressive in the third period but struggled to get many legitimate chances at the net. "There can be four more games".
Minnesota Wild's Jared Spurgeon (46) controls the puck against St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the third period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Friday, April 14, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.
Above all, Vigneault wants his team to manage the puck better, after turnovers become a problem in Game 3. "Everyone in that room, to a man, knows their game can be better and needs to be better".
While on a power play late in the second period, the Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec won a faceoff cleanly back to Jeff Petry.
About a minute later, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov misplayed the puck along the boards and Fast grabbed the loose puck and slid it through the legs of Price for an unassisted goal at 11:39 to open the scoring.
Lundqvist's toughest stops occurred on Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw in the first, and on an Alex Galchenyuk shot in the third where the NY goaltender turned to find the puck alongside the far post.
New York Rangers' Rick Nash (61) shoots the puck past Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Game 4 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Tuesday, Apri.
But you could see the confidence building for Galchenyuk as Game 1 went along, you could see it bubbling to the surface from the beginning of Game 2, and he was rewarded with more responsibility as a result.