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Posted On Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 1:47 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens' Pacioretty uses tough game as motivation

BROSSARD, Quebec -- There are few stars in the NHL who can be as hard on themselves as Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.

Down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series entering Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Bell Centre (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), Pacioretty feels he has a lot to make up for.

Whether that's true or it's just something Pacioretty has convinced himself is true, it's probably a good sign for the Canadiens.

Pacioretty did not register a single shot on goal in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 on Sunday, and he is eager to make amends in front of his home fans Tuesday.

"I don't feel good about my game last game, but that's the way it goes. It happens all the time," Pacioretty said after the morning skate. "Good players find a way to overcome a bad game like that, and I've got to do that [Tuesday]."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens' Price skates again, but still out for series

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Injured Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price skated Tuesday for about half an hour with goalie coach Stephane Waite and head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend, but he is still ruled out to play in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

It was the second straight day Price skated, but the first time he did so in full equipment.

Price took a few shots from Waite while already in the butterfly position with general manager Marc Bergevin looking on from a box above the ice at the Canadiens practice facility.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was unequivocal after the morning skate that not only will Price not play Game 5 of the series against the Rangers on Tuesday at Bell Centre (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), he won't play unless Montreal reaches the Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 and have a chance to reach the Final for the first time since 1994 with a victory.

"Our team realizes that when Carey was hurt it meant he would not play in this series," Therrien said. "There's a process that's in place for his return, but it won't be in the coming days. We don't want to be thinking about another series because we have a hell of a big game to play [Tuesday]."

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Posted On Monday, 05.26.2014 / 9:28 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers forward Stepan possible for Game 5

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan traveled here with the team Monday, and coach Alain Vigneault did not rule him out of Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 and would reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 with a win.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.25.2014 / 2:37 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Therrien taking spotlight off Canadiens players

NEW YORK – The Montreal Canadiens are expected to insert rookie forward Michael Bournival and veteran defenseman Francis Bouillon into their lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Nothing was confirmed, but neither Bournival nor Bouillon stayed on the ice late following the Canadiens morning skate with the rest of the scratches.

Bouillon is expected to take the place of rookie defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who played one shift in the third period and overtime of Game 3, a 3-2 Canadiens win. Bournival replaces Brandon Prust, who is suspended for two games for his hit on Rangers center Derek Stepan.

Of course, the talk heading into Game 4 had little to do with actual hockey decisions and lineup news, instead being completely dominated by what the two coaches in the series are saying at the podium.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 7:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Brandon Prust apologizes for injuring Stepan

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust expressed remorse Saturday for hitting his former teammate on the New York Rangers Derek Stepan and breaking his jaw, and said in light of the injury he understood the suspension of two games he was given by the NHL.

Prust will miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final series at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) and Game 5 at Bell Centre on Tuesday. The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

He said his intention in making the hit was to bring some energy to his team on his first shift of the game, and in trying to focus on hitting Stepan cleanly, he did not realize how late the hit was.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 6:02 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens' Bournival, Bouillon could play in Game 4

NEW YORK – Forward Michael Bournival and defenseman Francis Bouillon appear poised to return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup, based on line rushes during practice on Saturday.

With forward Brandon Prust about to begin serving a two-game suspension for a late hit on New York Rangers center Derek Stepan in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, Bournival was skating on the Canadiens fourth line with Daniel Briere and Dale Weise.

Bouillon was skating in Nathan Beaulieu's spot on the third defense pairing next to Mike Weaver. Beaulieu played one shift in the third period and overtime of Montreal's 3-2 win in Game 3 on Thursday.

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Posted On Friday, 05.23.2014 / 7:06 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Animosity growing between Rangers and Canadiens

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens had their reason to be upset, and now the New York Rangers do as well. The animosity in the Eastern Conference Final between these two Original Six teams is now a two-way street.

With the announcement Friday that Rangers center Derek Stepan will be out indefinitely with a broken jaw due to a hit from Canadiens forward Brandon Prust, the feeling that the opposing team took out a top player in the series is being felt by both teams.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price was ruled out of the series prior to Game 2 when he sustained a knee injury after Rangers forward Chris Kreider collided with him in Game 1.


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Posted On Friday, 05.23.2014 / 6:47 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens know they have to improve in Game 4

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens might have won Game 3, but they know they need to play more like they did in Game 2 if they want to tie the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens, down 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, will attempt to do just that in Game 4 on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"There is always room for improvement," center Lars Eller said at the team's hotel Friday. "I'd say the good thing is we came out of there with a win, and we have to be a lot better. We have to improve. We have to be better. It almost seems like the roles were reversed from Game 2 to 3, and the Rangers probably had a lot more scoring chances in Game 3 than we had.

"But at the same time, goal 2 and 3 is a good example of us winning battles in front of the net and getting those ugly goals. We had the chances in Game 2, but we didn't win the battles in front of the net, both in front of our net. Yesterday in front of [goaltender Henrik] Lundqvist's net, we were able to win those battles. I think that made the difference [Thursday]."


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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 2:15 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Therrien hints at changes to Canadiens lineup

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien has gone through the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs refusing to answer any questions about his lineup.

In light of that, what would appear like an innocuous answer to a question Thursday could in fact be quite revealing about his intentions for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Therrien was asked if he planned to make any changes to his lineup following an optional morning skate, and for the first time in a long time he did not refuse to answer.

"There might be," he said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Postseason struggles continue for Canadiens' Vanek

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was asked about a few of his players Tuesday, but there was just one he didn't particularly want to talk about.

With the Canadiens taking a day off before preparing to play Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), Therrien held a conference call with reporters to discuss being down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series heading on the road.

He was asked at one point about forward Max Pacioretty, and Therrien spoke of how he has matured into a young leader who has been given greater responsibility and thrived.

He was asked about forward Alex Galchenyuk, who Therrien praised for his ability to adapt to the pace of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 3-1 loss in Game 2 after missing six weeks with a knee injury.

He was also asked about forward Thomas Vanek, and that's when Therrien suddenly decided he didn't want to discuss individual players.

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