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Rangers at Canadiens preview

Pavelec to start second straight game for New York; Montreal looks to improve from worst start since 1941-42

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

RANGERS (3-6-2) at CANADIENS (2-7-1)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, CITY, TVA Sports, MSG, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will start his second straight game for the New York Rangers when they play the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Pavelec, 2-0-0 with a 1.92 goals-against-average and a .942 save percentage in his past three games against Montreal, made 27 saves in New York's 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. The Rangers have won two of their past three games following a 1-5-2 start that included a 2-0 win against the Canadiens in New York on Oct. 8.

Montreal is off to its worst start in 76 years. The Canadiens' five points are their fewest through 10 games since 1941-42, when they went 1-8 with one tie on their way to a 1-10-1 start.

 

Players to watch

Rangers rookie center Boo Nieves clicked with linemates Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich in his season debut Thursday. Nieves had three assists and the line combined for seven points against Arizona.

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is 10-1-1 with a 1.30 GAA, .958 save percentage and six shutouts in 13 career regular-season home games against the Rangers. He's 2-6-1 with a 3.60 GAA and .887 save percentage in nine starts this season.

 

They said it

"We've got to go out there and we've got to execute. We have to compete and we've got to play a good solid defensive game in front of our goaltender and make sure that we get quality opportunities. At the end of the night, it's two points, and that's what we're going to Montreal to try and get." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault 

"If we weren't getting any chances, any looks, we would be really frustrated trying to figure out how to get looks. But we are getting chances, we are getting looks, and it's going to find the back of the net soon." -- Canadiens center Jonathan Drouin

 

Rangers projected lineup

Rick Nash -- Mika Zibanejad -- J.T. Miller

Chris Kreider -- David Desharnais -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Michael Grabner -- Boo Nieves -- Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh -- Brendan Smith

Marc Staal -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei -- Nick Holden

Ondrej Pavelec

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Steven Kampfer, Paul Carey

Injured: None

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Artturi Lehkonen -- Jonathan Drouin -- Paul Byron

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brandon Davidson -- Jeff Petry

Karl Alzner -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Jacob De La Rose, Joe Morrow

Injured: Ales Hemsky (concussion-like symptoms), David Schlemko (hand), Nikita Scherbak (lower body)

 

Status report

The Rangers held an optional morning skate Saturday. … Mitchell likely will replace Scherbak.

 

Stat pack

Lundqvist is tied with Glenn Hall for ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list with 407. ... Buchnevich has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past two games, including his first NHL multigoal game Thursday. ... Gallagher has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games.

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