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Open Game Thread: Canadiens vs Rangers

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Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

After a drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, the Rangers are back home today as they welcome the Montreal Canadiens into town. While the Blueshirts have had their struggles, Montreal hasn't fared much better in their first two games. After earning a shootout victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the Canadiens allowed Alex Ovechkin to score four goals last night en route to a 6-1 defeat in Washington.

Another bad loss for the Rangers could cause the calls for Lindy Ruff to replace Alain Vigneault to grow louder, so a strong effort from New York's players would go a long way towards silencing those calls. Playing a full sixty minutes is something the Rangers have failed to do this season, and they'll need to do so tonight in order to earn their first points of the season and move out of last place in the Eastern Conference. New York's lines are as follows:

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich

Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-J.T. Miller-Rick Nash

David Desharnais-Paul Carey

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Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh

Nick Holden-Tony DeAngelo

Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk

Steven Kampfer

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Henrik Lundqvist

Player to watch: After scoring three powerplay goals in the first two games, look for Mika Zibanejad to continue his hot start. Kevin Shattenkirk's presence on the blue line has revitalized New York's powerplay, and Zibanejad has been the main beneficiary. Against a Canadiens team with nine penalties against in their first two games, Zibanejad should have more opportunities to work his magic.

Enjoy the game!