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Rangers go for fourth straight win vs. Canadiens

by Dave Lozo /
CANADIENS (23-16-3) AT RANGERS (25-15-3)

TV --

Last 10 -- Canadiens 4-5-1; Rangers 6-2-2.

Season Series -- This is the first of four meetings between the Original Six franchises. The Canadiens took three of the four matchups last season.

Big Story -- The Rangers will start the process of coping without another top-nine forward. Alex Frolov will miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury. But the Rangers have found a way to win without Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal for various lengthy stretches. The Canadiens will be dealing with their own problem, as leading scorer Michael Cammalleri is out with an undisclosed ailment.

Team Scope:

Canadiens --
Sixty minutes haven't been enough the past four games. The Canadiens are 3-0-1 in their last four, with two overtime wins, one shootout win and an overtime loss. They are coming off an emotional 3-2 victory against the Bruins on Saturday that ended with Max Pacioretty mixing it up with defenseman Zdeno Chara after scoring the game-winning goal.

"I'm never going to live this one down but it's all a blur, all a daze," Pacioretty said. "I was just so excited about the goal and I don't think it was anything too big. I think he was just upset about the breakdown by their team, but it is what it is and it's a good feeling, so I'll try not to let that ruin it."

Rangers -- Down by a goal to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night, the Rangers scored two goals in the second period to extend their winning streak to three, 2-1.

"It's about finding ways and showing a lot of that resiliency, a lot of that battle," said goaltender Martin Biron, who made 24 saves in place of starter Henrik Lundqvist. "Playing hard, that's our identity."

Who's Hot -- Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski has 2 goals and 4 assists in six games since he was acquired from the New York Islanders. … Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky has 2 goals and 7 assists in his last eight games.

Injury Report -- For the Canadiens, Cammalleri is out with his illness. Defensemen Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov are out for the season with knee injuries. … Frolov, Callahan, Prospal and Erik Christensen are all out for the Rangers. Defenseman Michal Rozsival is nursing a rib injury and likely will be a game-time decision.

Stat Pack -- The Canadiens' power play is on fire the past four games, going 5-for-15 in that span. … The Rangers are looking for their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 17-23, 2009. It's a span of 88 games since the Dec. 23 victory.

Puck Drop -- "We weren't spot-on. Our team's tired, we're a little bit beat up. But we grinded. That's who we are, that's how we're going to have to play." -- Rangers coach John Tortorella, after his team's 2-1 win Saturday.
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