The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will be meeting up for the second time during this season, following a 3-1 Rangers loss back on February 19th. The Canadiens currently lead the Eastern Conference with 24 points, while the Rangers have begun to struggle as of late due to injuries.
New York Rangers (8-6-2) vs New York Rangers (11-4-2)
Bell Centre - Montreal, QC Canada - 7:00 PM
Television: MSG | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: Eyes On The Prize | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets
The Rangers are coming off of a mediocre effort against the Ottawa Senators, where they were able to steal a point, but later lost in a shootout. We saw bits and pieces of the Rangers hard-nosed hockey, and it played a big part in their two goals during the third period.
The Canadiens aren't a run-and-gun type of team anymore with Michel Therrien in charge of the reigns. As we saw in their last game against the Rangers, they played a very conservative type of offense, and only had one guy up on the forecheck. They clogged up the neutral zone, and converted when the Rangers made mistakes and turned over the puck.
Some Quick Thoughts:
*** Rick Nash will be missing his third straight game as he is sitting out with an undisclosed injury. Earlier today, the Rangers placed him on the injury reserve list, which was retroactive to last Saturday. The move was made in order to clear a roster spot, and allow Christian Thomas to be recalled.
*** Speaking of Christian Thomas, what are the chances that both him AND J.T. Miller are getting a look during this shortened season? It's definitely a surprise to say the least, and I'm hoping Thomas can bring an offensive spark that the Rangers are desperately in search of.
*** In yet another surprising move, the Rangers have elected to start Martin Biron tonight instead of Henrik Lundqvist. Maybe it's to change the pace, or maybe it's to light a fire under some guys. Whatever it may be, Biron will be up to the test.
*** The Rangers are currently nursing a ton of injuries, as both Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto will be game-time decisions. Staal currently has a case of the flu, but hasn't been ruled out as of yet. As for Del Zotto, he took a hard check from Mark Methot in the third period of last game, and left during the third period. Hopefully both of these guys are ready to go, as the Rangers will need as much personnel as they can get tonight.
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider - Jeff Halpern - J.T. Miller
Brandon Mashinter - Brian Boyle - Christian Thomas
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Matt Gilroy - Anton Stralman
Steve Eminger - Stu Bickel
Scratches: Rick Nash (unknown injury), Marc Staal (game time decision / flu), Michael Del Zotto (game time decision / lower-body), Darroll Powe (concussion), Arron Asham (back spasms).