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Game preview: MTL vs. NYR

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (45-28-8) vs. RANGERS (45-31-5)

The Canadiens will close out the 2013-14 regular season against the New York Rangers, Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

The Habs are coming off a 2-0 loss at the hands of the New York Islanders on Thursday. Rookies Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson scored powerplay goals to help the non-playoff team come away with two points at the Bell Centre. Carey Price made 28 saves in the loss.

On the same night, the Rangers won 2-1 over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. Drew Stafford opened the scoring for the Sabres, but Benoit Pouliot and Rick Nash lit the lamp to put the hometown favourites up for good, Nash’s goal coming with just under two minutes left in regulation time. Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves on 24 shots against.

The Rangers are missing Chris Kreider, who is out with a hand injury, and Ryan McDonagh, who is nursing a shoulder injury. Both are expected to return at some point in the postseason, but neither will be suiting up on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Habs will be playing without Alex Galchenyuk, Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and Lars Eller. Eller has been out for the past three days due to illness. Moen and Prust are expected to be back for the opening round of the playoffs against the Lightning. As for Galchenyuk, he is out through at least the second playoff round due to a lower-body injury.

Carey Price is expected to make the start for the Habs.

Saturday night will be the last of three meeting this season between the Habs and the Rangers. The two teams have taken turns shutting each other out this year. The Habs won 2-0 on the road in October, while the Rangers blanked the Habs 1-0 at the Bell Centre on November 16 2013.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

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