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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Rangers

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (6-5-0) @ RANGERS (3-6-0)

The Canadiens begin a string of two games in two days with a Monday night tilt against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The Habs will be looking to rebound after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Sharks on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Carey Price was outstanding for the Canadiens in the loss, turning aside 35 of the 37 shots he faced.

Another one of Michel Therrien’s troops fell victim to injury on Saturday night. Travis Moen suffered a cut to his face during the game against San Jose. The injury was more serious than expected as Moen did not accompany the team on the road trip to the Big Apple. For that reason, the Canadiens recalled forwards Louis Leblanc and Patrick Holland, who was sent down to Hamilton on Saturday night. Leblanc is playing well as of late, having scored four goals and picked up six points in seven games in the AHL. He will be in the lineup for Montreal.

George Parros and Douglas Murray both made the trip to New York with the rest of their teammates. Murray will be in the lineup for the first time this season.

With two sets of back-to-back games ahead this week, Michel Therrien will start Peter Budaj in goal on Monday night. The Slovak netminder came out on top in his lone start during the 2013-14 campaign, besting the Oilers back on Oct. 10. He has won two of his three career starts against the Rangers.

While we might have reached the end of October, the Rangers will be contesting their home-opener on Monday night. Alain Vigneault’s squad was forced to play its first nine games of the season away from home while Madison Square Garden underwent major renovations over the last few months. The Rangers will likely be happy to return to home ice as they’ve only racked up three wins thus far this season, the latest of which came in their last outing when they topped the Red Wings 3-2. That victory snapped their two-game losing streak.

Vigneault can count on goaltender Henrik Lundqvist against the Canadiens. The veteran netminder was forced to miss the last two games due to injury. In 26 career games against Montreal, Lundqvist has a 13-10-0 record and a 2.87 goals-against average. The Rangers, however, will not have Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin in the lineup, all of whom are sidelined with injuries.

The Canadiens did well against the Rangers last season, winning the three games between the two teams in 2012-13. In addition, the Habs lit the lamp nine times against New York last season, while giving up just one goal against.

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