RANGERS (34-24-4) at CANADIENS (29-27-9)
7 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, MSG 2, NHL.TV
The New York Rangers seek a season-high fifth straight win and their ninth straight road victory when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.
New York is 8-1-0 in its past nine games and enters play Thursday four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Carey Price will make his 11th straight start for Montreal, which is seven points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division.
The Canadiens are 2-4-2 in their past eight games after going 7-2-0 in their previous nine.
Players to watch
Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad has an eight-game point streak (seven goals, seven assists) and has scored a goal in five straight games, one short of the longest in the NHL this season.
Canadiens forward Max Domi has five points in a three-game point streak (two goals, three assists).
They said it
"You're in this dogfight, this playoff race, and I think every team is trying to create that same mentality. Regardless of the venue, regardless of your opponent, boy, every shift is tooth and nail, and every inch of ice matters, and it's a great time of year." -- Rangers coach David Quinn
"Obviously that's a good team coming in. They've got a lot of talented players and it's going to be our job to not give them too much. We've had good starts at home, we're just going to have to play a full 60 (minutes)." -- Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Filip Chytil
Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast
Phillip Di Giuseppe -- Brett Howden -- Kaapo Kakko
Brendan Lemieux -- Greg McKegg -- Julien Gauthier
Brendan Smith -- Jacob Trouba
Tony DeAngelo -- Marc Staal
Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox
Injured: Igor Shesterkin (rib fracture), Pavel Buchnevich (soreness), Micheal Haley (core muscle)
Canadiens projected lineup
Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher
Charles Hudon -- Nick Suzuki -- Joel Armia
Paul Byron -- Max Domi -- Jordan Weal
Artturi Lehkonen -- Jake Evans -- Dale Weise
Ben Chiarot -- Shea Weber
Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry
Karl Alzner -- Christian Folin
Injured: Jonathan Drouin (ankle), Xavier Ouellet (concussion), Victor Mete (broken foot)
Buchnevich, a forward, will miss a second straight game after he and Shesterkin, a goalie, were injured in a car accident Sunday. "He's getting back to his old self and he'll be back on the ice soon," Quinn said of Buchnevich. … Drouin, a forward, won't play after re-aggravating an ankle injury. … Ouellet skated and is continuing to progress through concussion protocol. "He's getting closer to being able to return to play," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said of the forward who has missed the past two games.
Panarin has a 10-game point streak (five goals, nine assists). … Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (Nov. 7-17), Domi (Dec. 19-31), and Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes (Jan. 31-Feb. 11) each scored in six straight games earlier this season.