CANADIENS (16-5-1) AT RANGERS (8-7-4)
TV: NHLN-US, CITY, RDS, MSG
NEW YORK -- The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers opted not to have full-team morning skates Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Montreal played Saturday against the Boston Bruins, defeating its rival 2-0 at TD Garden. New York has not played since Wednesday because a game Friday at First Niagara Center against the Buffalo Sabres was postponed by the severe snowstorm in western New York.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who has not played for the Rangers since Nov. 1 because of a shoulder injury, skated Sunday at the Garden. He has yet to practice with the Rangers and a timetable for his return remains uncertain.
The Canadiens lead the NHL with 33 points and have won eight of their past nine games. They've defeated the Zdeno Chara and David Krejci-less Bruins twice and logged impressive victories against the St. Louis Blues and at the Detroit Red Wings in that span. This is the first time Montreal has played at the Garden since New York defeated Montreal in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final.
Montreal dressed seven defensemen Saturday against the Bruins.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Lee Stempniak could play against Montreal, but because it is a lower-back injury he decided to hold him out another game. The forward lines should look the same as they did Wednesday against the Flyers.
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – PA Parenteau
Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust – Lars Eller – Jiri Sekac
Manny Malhotra – Dale Weise
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin – Sergei Gonchar
Bryan Allen – Mike Weaver
Scratched: Drayson Bowman, Nathan Beaulieu
Injured: Michael Bournival (shoulder)
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis
Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Anthony Duclair
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
John Moore - Dan Girardi
Matt Hunwick - Kevin Klein
Injured: Ryan McDonagh (shoulder), Lee Stempniak (back)