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Preview: Canadiens at Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist can make history with win; Montreal goes for fifth straight victory

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

CANADIENS (36-21-8) at RANGERS (41-21-2)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG, NHL.TV 

 

Canadiens team scope

The Montreal Canadiens have won four straight games, all by one goal. They are coming off of a come-from-behind 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators at Bell Centre on Thursday. It was Montreal's first win in regulation since Jan. 31. The Canadiens also defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets (1-0), the New Jersey Devils (4-3) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2) in overtime. Montreal is 5-2-0 since Claude Julien took over as coach for Michel Therrien on Feb. 14. Goalie Carey Price has a .947 save percentage and 1.47 goals-against average since the coaching change. Montreal has scored 13 goals in Julien's seven games and has 23 goals in 14 games since Feb. 2, and hopes for a spark against the Rangers. "Yeah, that's a team that we want to beat, a team we have a chance of facing if we make the playoffs and they make the playoffs," captain Max Pacioretty said Friday. "All that's important. But we really just need to bear down for two points here, especially now when things aren't going perfect offensively. It's got to be the mindset."

 

Rangers team scope

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has 403 wins and needs one more to pass Grant Fuhr and move into sole possession of 10th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. Lundqvist aso would pass Martin Brodeur for the most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 League seasons and become the first goaltender in NHL history with 30 or more wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons, as well as the third goaltender with at least 30 wins in 11 or more seasons (Brodeur, Patrick Roy). New York is coming off of a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday that ended a two-game losing streak. Captain Ryan McDonagh said the Rangers need to see a similar effort Saturday. "As we continue here, we have to find ways to put three periods back-to-back against one another, and that's what our mindset should be," he told the Rangers website on Saturday. Defenseman Brandon Smith made his Rangers debut against the Bruins after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, and had two penalty minutes in 20:51 of ice time. "I'm going to have the jitters," he said about playing in his first game at Madison Square Garden with New York. The Rangers are 4-3-1 since winning six straight from Feb. 2-13. They are 5-2-1 in their past eight games at home, including a 3-2 shootout loss to the Canadiens on Feb. 21.

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Dwight King -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Artturi Lehkonen

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Andrew Shaw

Andreas Martinsen Steve Ott  -- Torrey Mitchell

Andrei Markov -- Shea Weber

Alexei Emelin -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Brian Flynn,  Michael McCarron

Injured: Alexander Radulov (lower body)

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello

Pavel Buchnevich -- Mika Zibanejad -- Rick Nash

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Brandon Pirri -- Oscar Lindberg -- Matt Puempel

Ryan McDonagh -- Brendan Smith

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Adam Clendening

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: None

Injured: Jesper Fast (upper body), Dan Girardi (ankle), Kevin Klein (back), Michael Grabner (hip)

 

Status report

Radulov will not play becaue of a lingering injury and Julien said it was best for him to not play. Buchnevich, who scored against the Bruins, is expected to play. Pirri or Puempel could be scratched if Grabner is ready to return. Girardi, Klein, Fast and Grabner each have been out of the lineup. Girardi and Fast each will be sidelined at least another week and a half. Klein and Grabner each are day to day and will not travel to begin an upcoming four-game road trip which begins on Monday.

 

Who's hot

Pacioretty has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in 15 games since the NHL All-Star break. Galchenyuk has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. … Skjei has three points in his past four games (one goal, two assists). 

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