After their four point weekend that left them one point out of playoff position, the Rangers have every reason to feel pretty good about themselves which is what scares me. There's no time for this
It won't be easy for the Rangers, they are facing a red hot Canadiens
At this point the other thing the Rangers have going for them is that with the exception of the aforementioned Hurricanes, every
So the stars are pretty much aligned for the Rangers right now, they just need to play more like the
John Tortorella told the media yesterday that Henrik Lundqvist will be rested down the stretch, but when? How? Unless the Rangers solidify a playoff position before the end of the season, I just don't see how they will rest him. Every game is now a playoff game, and I just don't see them starting Alex Auld when every two points is so critical.
More after the break.......
Preview (Courtesy of NHL.com)
Canadiens: No Mike Cammalleri? No problem. Since the Habs lost their leading scorer during a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Jan. 30, they've gone 10-4-0 to move into playoff contention. And even without Cammalleri, the Canadiens are scoring 3.3 goals per game, up nearly 0.8 on their season average before he was hurt.
It's resulted in a push up the Eastern ladder that has the Canadiens dreaming of the playoffs.
"Right now you feel like you're almost in the playoffs," defenseman Andrei Markov said. "You understand you have to play well every shift, every moment. You're nervous before the game, but if you win, it's a great feeling."
Rangers: After an embarrassing 6-3 loss to the Devils, the Rangers have strung together two impressive wins against the Thrashers and Flyers, two teams they are fighting for a playoff spot.
But the Rangers have shown signs of stringing together consistent play at times this season, only to fall into the bad habits that have plagued them. To make the playoffs, they will have to find a way to keep it together.
"These are desperate times for us," captain Chris Drury said. "Obviously every game is a big game and now we have to regroup and get ready for a real good Montreal
Who's Hot: Markov has been on fire since the restart of the season. He has 2 goals and 7 assists in the Canadiens' eight games since the end of the Olympics. … For the Rangers, Drury has 4 points in his last 2 games, all assists.
Injury Report: Besides Cammalleri (knee), the Canadiens will also be without defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron (left) and Paul Mara (upper body). Mara could return this week. … The Rangers report no major injuries.
Stat Pack: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 6-1-0 with a 1.86 GAA and a shutout in his last seven home starts versus Montreal. … Meanwhile, Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak is 1-3-0 with a 4.11 GAA in four starts at Madison Square Garden. … A win tonight would give the Candiens their first six-game winning streak since an eight-game run from March 23-April 6, 2006.
Puck Drop: "We have been in the same position before," Lundqvist said. "Like I said, don't look too far ahead. Don't start thinking we have to win 10 out of 13 or something; we just have to win the next game."