MONTREAL, CANADA - JANUARY 15: Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens passes the puck in front of Brian Boyle #22 of the New York Rangers during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on January 15, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers will be heading back home to Madison Square Garden after a three game road trip, in which the Blueshirts won all three. Tonight, the Rangers have the opportunity to put a huge seven point gap between themselves and the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, the Canadiens are out of the playoff race completely, and will try to play spolier, so don't expect this to be another cake walk. With their season pretty much wrapped up, the Habs have nothing to lose, and will go all out. With that said, here are tonight's keys to the game.
Continue Intensity From Last Game: The New York Rangers had one of their best responses against the Winnipeg Jets, after going down 2-0 in the second period. They were able to overcome adversity, and come away with a 4-2 win. They need to keep that intensity "bottled", and put it on display once again tonight. They were playing some great transition hockey, and were able to put up for goals.
Keep Up Secondary Scoring: Over the last three to four games, the Rangers have been getting the secondary scoring they have been looking for. Both Brian Boyle, and Ruslan Fedotenko have elevated their games as of late, and it's showing up on the score sheet. Brian Boyle has three goals in his last four games, while Ruslan Fedotenko put away the game winning goal against the Minnesota Wild. While their top line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Carl Hagelin has been quiet, they've been covered by the bottom lines.
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Goaltenders: To everyone's surprise, Henrik Lundqvist will be making his eight consecutive start, which pushes his total up to 58 starts this season. The plan for John Tortorella and Lundqvist is to get the team ready for a rugged playoff run. At this rate, I would expect Lundqvist to start the rest of the regular season, and go right into the playoffs. It will help get him into a rhythm heading into the playoffs, and he will be better prepared for the rough stretch of games. On the other end, Carey Price will be getting the start for the Montreal Canadiens, which will be his 65th start of the season.