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Posted On Friday, 05.30.2014 / 1:06 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Stepan forgives Canadiens' Prust for late hit

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan still can't eat solid foods. After a hit early in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final from Montreal Canadiens forward and former teammate Brandon Prust fractured his jaw, Stepan had surgery and will be eating through a straw for roughly the next six weeks.

He hopes he will be able to eat properly at his wedding this summer. But with the Rangers now moving on to the Stanley Cup Final after a 1-0 victory in Game 6 on Thursday gave them a 4-2 series win against the Canadiens, Stepan has looked past the late hit that earned Prust a two-game suspension.

"I'm not going to hold it against [Prust]. He finished his check," Stepan said after the series-clinching win. "He feels bad about it. He knows it was late. We move on from there."


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Posted On Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 7:52 PM

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

Weise, Emelin out for Canadiens in Game 6

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens will play Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Thursday without forward Dale Weise or defenseman Alexei Emelin.

The Canadiens trail the best-of-7 series 3-2 and are trying to force a Game 7 at Bell Centre on Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Diaz set to step in for Moore on Rangers defense

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Raphael Diaz will replace John Moore against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Diaz confirmed after the Rangers' morning skate that he would be in for Moore, who was suspended two games Wednesday by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for an illegal hit to the head of Canadiens' forward Dale Weise in the third period of Game 5 on Tuesday.

"I'm fresh and I didn't play for a couple of weeks. Now I've got the opportunity," Diaz said. "I have fresh legs, but it's important to find the rhythm right away from the start. This is really important."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 10:34 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Montreal anthem singer would miss potential Game 7

If the Montreal Canadiens succeed in forcing a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers, they will be playing it without their lucky charm in the building.

If the Canadiens win Game 6 against the Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) then Ginette Reno will sing the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 7 on Saturday via video link from a downtown Montreal concert hall and not Bell Centre, according to a report in the Montreal Gazette.

It would be the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that the Canadiens play a home game without Reno singing "O Canada" live in the building.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 7:45 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens: 2-game ban for Rangers' John Moore 'fair'

NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens chose their words carefully after the NHL Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday that New York Rangers defenseman John Moore was suspended for two games.

Moore received the two-game ban for an illegal hit on Canadiens forward Dale Weise with 9:19 remaining in the third period of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. He was assessed a match penalty on the play.

"If you talk to us, we're probably thinking more [games]. If you talk to the Rangers, they're thinking less. I guess it's kind of a middle ground," Montreal forward Daniel Briere said moments after the suspension was announced. "I think the biggest thing is hopefully seeing that Dale is OK. That's what matters the most for us."


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 7:43 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens' vets stress opportunity in Game 6

NEW YORK -- Most of the Montreal Canadiens will be entering uncharted territory when they take the ice against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). For the members of the Canadiens' roster who have played in the Stanley Cup Final, it's important to impress on their teammates how rare this opportunity is.

Of the Montreal players who have suited up in this series, only veteran forwards Brian Gionta and Daniel Briere have played in the Final. Gionta is the only one who has hoisted the Cup; he did it as a member of the New Jersey Devils in 2003. Forwards Travis Moen and George Parros played on the Anaheim Ducks team that won the Stanley Cup in 2007 but have not dressed in this series.

The advice and leadership from the few players who have been this far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are crucial, especially on a roster filled primarily with players who have never gotten this far.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.28.2014 / 2:04 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Bourque celebration: from Montreal to Lac La Biche

Bell Centre in Montreal and Lac La Biche, Alberta are about 2,200 miles apart, but there was a pretty solid celebration in both places Tuesday when Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque completed his hat trick against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Bourque's third goal came at 6:33 of the third period to give the Canadiens a 6-4 lead en route to their 7-4 victory.

While Bourque and his teammates celebrated his third goal, the 21,273 at Bell Centre engaged in the hockey tradition of littering the ice with hats.

However, a few fans took the tradition one step further.

Bourque grew up in Lac La Biche, located about three hours northeast of Edmonton, and his parents still live in the town. Fans were so excited by Bourque's three-goal night that they tossed hats on his parents' front lawn.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 7:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Stepan in Rangers lineup for Game 5

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is in the lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Bell Centre after missing Game 4 following surgery to repair his broken jaw.

Stepan is wearing a plastic guard on his helmet to protect his jaw. He took line rushes with his usual linemates, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, during warm-ups.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin did not participate in warm-ups and is not in the lineup for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nathan Beaulieu took Emelin's place.

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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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