Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Keys To The Game (Update)

The New York Rangers will look to win eight games in a row tonight, a feat that hasn't been done since the 1974-75 season. Here's how the Rangers can make it happen: 

Keep Up The Intensity: The Rangers haven't played since a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. The Montreal Canadiens played on Thursday, so the Rangers should easily be the fresher of the two sides. Thus far on this winning streak, the Rangers have had an edge in the intensity department and that can't change tonight. A quick start will go a long way to quieting the Bell Centre crowd and giving the Rangers a nice early boost of confidence. 

Focus From The Defense: The Islanders hit the post three times and had numerous chances they either didn't finish or the Rangers were bailed out by Henrik Lundqvist. Montreal is a more talented team offensively than the Islanders are, and have a plethora of players who can put the puck into the back of the net. The Rangers' defense needs to be ready for anything, especially since the Canadiens are coming off a bad loss to the Islanders. 

Join me after the jump for more and the official Rangers press release. 

Make The Power Play Count: The Rangers are 8-for-44 with the man advantage in the last 10 games. That's a much improved 18.2% when compared to the team's 13.4% mark for the whole season. The Rangers need to start scoring on the power play. There have been countless examples on this wining streak of games that would have been put to bed much earlier if the team could covert with the man advantage. The Islanders game is a perfect example, with the Rangers holding a one-goal lead and not finding a way to convert on a 5-on-3. So when the Canadiens go in the box, put the puck into the net. 

Rangers official press release below. 

NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Saturday, Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m.
Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Rangers: 10-3-3 (23 pts)
Canadiens: 8-8-3 (19 pts)


* All information through NHL games on Nov. 17

TOMORROW'S GAME:
The Rangers will face-off against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six match-up as they look to extend their seven-game winning streak. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 10-3-3 (23 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow's contest having defeated the New York Islanders, 4-2, on Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum to extend their winning streak to seven games. The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games (10-2-1 over the span), including in each of the last eight (7-0-1). The Canadiens enter the contest with a 8-8-3 (19 pts) record to rank 12th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two of their last three games (1-1-1). Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at BankAtlantic Center (7:30 p.m.), in their first of three games in four days.

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Prior to tomorrow's contest, the Rangers' morning skate is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Bell Centre.  Head Coach John Tortorella will be available to the media at 11:45 a.m.
* Schedule and availability subject to change

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
* TV: MSG Network
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Brian Leetch
7:00 p.m. - Rangers at Canadiens
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
6:30 p.m. - Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. - Rangers at Canadiens
Broadcasters: Don LaGreca (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

RANGERS vs. CANADIENS:
* All-Time: 190-318-94-3 overall (126-122-54-1 at home; 64-196-40-2 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two at Bell Centre. New York is 1-0-0 following a 5-3 win on Nov. 5 at Madison Square Garden.
* Last Season: New York was 1-3-0 overall, with a 0-2-0 mark on the road. Dan Girardi led the team in scoring with four points, including a team-high three assists, and Brian Boyle notched a team-leading two goals in four games. The Rangers out-scored the Canadiens, 7-4, in first periods during the season series.
* New York ranks sixth with a 5-2-2 (12 pts) record on the road; Montreal ranks 24th with a 3-4-3 (9 pts) mark at home
* The Rangers have posted a 2-1-1 record vs. Northeast Division opponents; the Canadiens are 1-3-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 12-8-2 record with a 2.95 GAA and one shutout in 23 career regular season contests vs. Montreal; Martin Biron is 14-11-0-1 with a 2.36 GAA and two shutouts in 28 career regular season games vs. the Canadiens
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with eight goals, 11 assists and 19 points in 31 career regular season contests vs. Montreal; Ryan Callahan has tallied six goals and 10 points in 16 games vs. the Canadiens
* New York lists no former Canadiens on their roster
* Montreal lists one former Ranger on their roster: Scott Gomez (2007-08 - 2008-09)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in four power play opportunities (6:29) on Tuesday at Long Island, and are 8-44 (18.2%) with the man advantage in the last 10 games. New York ranks 24th overall (9-67, 13.4%) and 28th on the road (3-33, 9.1%). The Rangers are 1-6 (5:15) in five-on-three situations (last – 11/15 at NYI), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (0).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Islanders in five shorthanded situations (8:40) on Tuesday at Long Island, and are 41-46 (89.1%) in the last 13 games and 18-20 (90.0%) during their current seven-game winning streak. New York ranks eighth overall (57-65, 87.7%) and 10th on the road (38-44, 86.4%). The Rangers are 2-3 (1:16) in three-on-five situations (last – 11/05 vs. MTL), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (1): 10/20 at CGY (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) on Tuesday at Long Island. The Rangers are plus-three in 25 four-on-four situations (43:42), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

STREAK NOTES:
* The Rangers enter the contest with a seven-game winning streak, dating back to Oct. 31 vs. San Jose
* The Blueshirts' last seven-game winning streak was during the 2009-10 season (Oct. 3 – Oct. 17). The last time New York posted an eight-game winning streak was in 1974-75 (Dec. 27 – Jan. 11). The franchise record longest winning streak is 10 games, established in 1972-73 (Jan. 19 – Feb. 10).
* New York has out-scored their opponents, 27-11
* The Rangers' penalty kill is 18 of 20 (90.0%)
* The Blueshirts have registered at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games (10-2-1 over the span), including in each of the last eight games (7-0-1). The last time New York registered an eight-game point streak was when they tallied at least one point in 13 consecutive games from Feb. 9, 2008 to Mar. 10, 2008.
* The Rangers have tallied the game's first goal in six of the seven games
* In 425:00 of game action, the Rangers have led for 250:28 (58.9%) and been tied for 173:50 (40.9%). New York has only trailed for 0:42 (0.2%) during the streak. (courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau)
* Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron posted a combined 7-0-0 record, along with a 1.55 GAA, a .946 Sv% and one shutout during the streak. Lundqvist is 5-0-0 with a 1.77 GAA and a .941 Sv%, while Biron is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA, a .959 Sv% and one shutout over the span.
* Ryan Callahan (five goals, three assists) and Derek Stepan (three goals, five assists) are tied for the team lead with eight points apiece during the seven-game winning streak. Callahan's five goals are also a team high during the stretch.
* Brandon Dubinsky (one goal, six assists) and Artem Anisimov (one goal, six assists) are tied for the team-high with six assists each, while Marian Gaborik has tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) during the winning streak.

BACK-TO-BACKS
The Rangers concluded their second of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 3-0 win vs. Winnipeg on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 1-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 22-8-3 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 10-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. The Rangers' next back-to-back set begins on Nov. 25 at Washington and concludes on Nov. 26 vs. Philadelphia.

ORIGINAL SIX SINCE 2005-06
New York has posted a record of 47-26-12 (106 pts) against Original Six opponents since the 2005-06 season, including a 12-10-3 mark vs. Montreal over the span. The Rangers' .624 winning percentage ranks second, trailing Detroit (.698%, 41-16-6) and ahead of Montreal (.618%, 70-41-12), Toronto (.512%, 54-51-18), Boston (.500%, 54-54-18) and Chicago (.477%, 27-30-9).

JOINING THE RUSH
New York defensemen have accounted for 21.7% of the team's scoring, fifth-best in the league, tallying a combined 10 goals through 16 games to begin the season, tying for seventh in the NHL. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh are tied for first among Rangers defensemen and 12th among NHL blueliners with three goals.

COUNTDOWN TO 2,500 WINS
The Rangers are currently six wins shy of 2,500 wins, having won 2,494 games all-time in franchise history.

QUICK HITS:
* The Rangers currently have the fewest regulation losses (three) in the NHL
* The Blueshirts lead the league in fewest total goals allowed (32) and rank second in goals against average (2.00)
* New York's penalty kill is 41-46 (89.1%) in the last 13 games and 18-20 (90.0%) during their current seven-game winning streak
* Henrik Lundqvist is 5-0-0 with a 1.77 GAA and a .941 Sv% in his last five games
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 11 points (five goals, six assists) and a plus-six rating in the last nine games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied nine points (six goals, three assists) in the last eight games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in the last two
* Derek Stepan has recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) and a plus-seven rating in the last eight games
* Artem Anisimov has tallied six assists and a plus-four rating in the last five games
* Brad Richards has recorded eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last eight games
* Brandon Dubinsky has tallied seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last seven games, including four points (one goal, three assists) in the last two
* Dan Girardi has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 10 games
* Sean Avery has notched two goals in the last two games
* Ryan McDonagh has posted a plus-eight rating in the last five games
* Martin Biron is 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA, a .961 Sv% and one shutout in his last three games

MILESTONES IN SIGHT:
* Erik Christensen: 7 assists from 100th NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 8 points from 100th NHL career
* Marian Gaborik: 6 assists from 300th NHL career; 8 goals from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 8 assists from 100th NHL career
* Derek Stepan: 2 games from 100th NHL career
* Wojtek Wolski: 1 game from 400th NHL career; 9 goals from 100th NHL career

MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED:
* Ryan Callahan: 300th NHL game (11/15 at NYI)

INJURIES:
* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) - 16
* Mike Rupp (knee, 10/24) - 9
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) - 5
Total Man-Games Lost: 39

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* None

UPDATE: Marty Biron will be in goal for the Rangers tonight against the Canadiens, most likely because of Henrik Lundqvist's career-long struggles at the Bell Centre. 

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