Rangers Vs Canadiens Preview: Rangers Set To Battle Second Place Canadiens

The New York Rangers are set to take on the second seeded Montreal Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are set to battle out tonight under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden. Brandon Prust will be making his first return to the world's most famous arena since signing with the Canadiens on July 1st, 2012.


Montreal Canadiens (10-4-1) vs New York Rangers (7-5-1)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - 7:00 PM
Television: NBC Sports Network | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: Eyes On The Prize | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets

The New York Rangers are coming off a big 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday, and are looking to carry over their momentum into tonight's contest. The Rangers are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and there is no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they will be without Darroll Powe after he suffered a concussion in a scary collision with Matt Hendricks.

Brandon Mashinter will be making his Broadway debut tonight for the Rangers, and will be taking the place of Darroll Powe. The biggest reason for the Rangers success over the last ten games is puck possession in the offensive zone. This was a big part of their identity last season, and it took them a few games to finally get back to that hard-nosed style of hockey. The Canadiens are a very skilled team on the rush, and have a ton of speed. If the Rangers can keep them trapped in their own zone, it will translate to the scoreboard rather quickly.

Some Quick Thoughts:

*** I'm interested in seeing how Brandon Mashinter plays out in his first game with the Rangers. He's been lighting it up down with the Connecticut Whale, as he has five goals, and six assists in 14 games since being acquired. He plays a similar style to that of Darroll Powe, which the Rangers will definitely miss in the lineup. Hopefully Mashinter can fill some of that void, because it's a pretty big one to fill.

*** Chris Kreider will be a scratch tonight for the New York Rangers, which is his second straight since being called back up from the Whale. Two games won't destroy Kreider's development, but the Rangers really need to figure out a plan for this kid. I think the safest bet at this point would be to send him down the AHL to get some minutes in. Sitting in the press box can only do so much for a players development.

*** Carey Price will be getting his first start tonight since returning from the Flu. He was expected to play last night against Carolina, but was unable to go. The Rangers better throw everything on net tonight, as Price may not be fully over his illness. Might as well take advantage of everything tonight.

Projected Lineup:

Marian Gaborik - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Arron Asham - Jeff Halpern - Brandon Mashinter

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Matt Gilroy

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Scratches: Chris Kreider, (healthy), Stu Bickel (healthy), Steve Eminger (AHL assignment).