NEW YORK - The Canadiens skated at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday morning in preparation for their game against the New York Rangers.
- All players were present and accounted for during the on-ice session. Following the skate, head coach Claude Julien confirmed only one lineup change from Saturday afternoon's tilt against the Winnipeg Jets with Greg Pateryn dressing in place of Nikita Nesterov on the back end.
- While the Canadiens are struggling mightily right now with three straight losses and one win in their last eight games, the Rangers are playing some of their best hockey this season. Alain Vigneault's squad has won seven of their last eight games, along with 10 of their last 13 outings. To say that they present a formidable challenge - particularly on home turf at Madison Square Garden - would be a serious understatement.
"They've got a lot of points. All lines can click. It's going to be important every time you're on the ice, you can't take a shift off," said Nathan Beaulieu, who along with the rest of his teammates will be charged with shutting down the likes of J.T. Miller, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan and Kevin Hayes, among others, on Tuesday night. "They've been rolling and everyone's been scoring, so it's going to probably be the most difficult challenge of the year so far."
Video: Nathan Beaulieu on implementing Julien's system
Following two straight days of practice with Julien at the helm, though, captain Max Pacioretty is confident the Canadiens are primed to rise to the occasion under the lights of "The World's Most Famous Arena".
"I think we're feeling a little bit more comfortable [with Claude Julien's system] and it's time now to show what we're made of. It's going to be a little bit of an audition and it should give everyone a little bit more excitement, a little bit more jump in their step tonight," said Pacioretty, who sits tied for third in the League with 28 goals on the year. "I love playing here. I know everyone got a good meal in them last night in a city like New York, so there's no excuse for not having enough fuel."
Video: Max Pacioretty on being prepared to battle New York
Nathan Beaulieu shared similar thoughts with the media heading into the second matchup of the season between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Back on January 14th, the Canadiens posted a 5-4 victory over the Rangers at the Bell Centre.
"We're professionals. It's our job to be programmed to do stuff like this [and adjust to systems]. Systems around the League aren't that different from each other. There are minor tweaks that need to be made, so as a pro I feel that's something that we need to take upon ourselves," said Beaulieu. "Hockey IQ is a big part of the NHL, so you've got to pick it up quick."
- Carey Price will make his 45th start of the year for the Canadiens, while Henrik Lundqvist will be between the pipes for New York.
- Should the Canadiens emerge victorious on Tuesday night, Price would move into a tie with Ken Dryden for third spot on the franchise's all-time wins list among goaltenders with his 258th win in a Habs uniform.
- Andrei Markov, meanwhile, will take over sole possession of seventh spot on the Canadiens' all-time games played list when he hits the ice on Tuesday night, making his 969th appearance with the CH.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet East and RDS, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.