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Canadiens eyeing history in home opener vs. Rangers

by Sean Farrell

RANGERS (3-1-0) at CANADIENS (4-0-0)


MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers have scored the first goal in each of the four games they have played so far this season.

One team is going to have to yield first at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Montreal enters its 98th NHL home opener riding a four-game winning streak. It's the third time in League history that a team has won four straight road games to begin a season.

The Canadiens started 4-0-0 in 1955-56, 1970-71 and 1977-78, and went on to win the Stanley Cup in each of those seasons. But never have they won five straight to begin a season.

"First of all, we have a couple new guys on our team that have not played a regular game in this arena," defenseman P.K. Subban said after the morning skate at the Canadiens' practice facility in Brossard, Quebec. "It will be a special night. I think the first thing, guys have got to enjoy it. The home opener in Montreal is always a special night, just to be in the lineup and experience it. It's a lot of fun. But it is always more fun if you win."

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien will dress the same lineup for a fifth straight game.

"For us, we don't want to change too much," Subban said. "We still think there are some areas of the game we have got to clean up. And I know personally being on the ice we allow too many scoring opportunities. Overall we have to feel very confident about the way we are playing right now."

After starting the season with three straight wins, the Rangers lost 4-1 against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

"We've got to stay humble," Canadiens left wing Lars Eller said. "We are playing a very good team tonight. It's one of the best defensive cores in the League. And like us it's a fast team, they've got solid goaltending, they are very good all-around. And it's always a good challenge for us.

The Rangers did not hold a full morning skate; only the players not expected to be in the lineup were on the ice at Bell Centre.

Forward Jarret Stoll was among that group that skated, along with left wing Tanner Glass and defenseman Dylan McIlrath, all of whom played Tuesday. Stoll was not shocked about being left out of the lineup by coach Alain Vigneault, who will dress left wing Emerson Etem and right wing Jesper Fast on a line with center Dominic Moore.

"After a loss sometimes you make changes and we had a good chat," Stoll said. "You get Emerson in there and he's been anxious to get in the lineup and he's been working hard. So it's good for him to get a chance to play and help the team."

Here are the projected lineups:


Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Kevin Hayes

J.T. Miller - Oscar Lindberg - Viktor Stalberg

Emerson Etem - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Injured: None

Scratched: Dylan McIlrath, Jarret Stoll, Tanner Glass


Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Alexander Semin

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Brian Flynn - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Carey Price

Mike Condon

Injured: None

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Paul Byron

Status report: Lundqvist will make his fifth straight start. Coach Alain Vigneault hinted after practice Wednesday that backup goalie Antti Raanta soon will make his Rangers debut. … Fast and Boyle return after being scratched Tuesday. … Byron, claimed on waivers from the Calgary Flames on Oct. 6, has yet to play for the Canadiens.

Who's hot: Pacioretty has points in all four games, including two two-goal games. … Price is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in three games. He has stopped 86 of 91 shots. ... Zuccarello has three goals in his past three games. … Lindberg had four goals in his first three games but he was held off the score sheet Tuesday.

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