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playoffs

Mats Zuccarello raises game against Canadiens

Rangers forward scores twice in Game 6, led New York with three goals in series

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The way Mats Zuccarello plays the game, with the fearlessness and ferocity befitting a man who is a foot taller than his 5-foot-7 frame, can make you forget that two years ago his career was nearly over, a result of a shot off his head, a brain contusion that left him incapable of speaking for four days and still makes him stumble over certain words today.

It was easy to forget that Saturday, when Zuccarello shined on the big stage with two goals, enough to help the New York Rangers advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers won the series 4-2. Zuccarello led them with three goals.

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playoffs

Rangers home in on eliminating Canadiens in Game 6

New York drawing on past success of finishing off opponents at Madison Square Garden

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- For as mediocre as their record was at Madison Square Garden this season and despite recent struggles in Stanley Cup Playoff games at home, the New York Rangers have a history of success when they have a chance to eliminate an opponent on home ice.

The Rangers have won seven of their past nine games in that situation since 2007, including a 6-1 record since 2012. Henrik Lundqvist has been in goal for all nine and will be again in Game 6 against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

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column

Canadiens lacking offensive production from top players

Need Max Pacioretty, Shea Weber to step up in order to avoid elimination by Rangers in Game 6 on Saturday

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The day between games late in a Stanley Cup Playoff series can sometimes become the day for mind games. Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien was up for the challenge Friday, the day before his team tries to avoid elimination.

Julien was asked about a series from 2014, when his former team, the Boston Bruins, were up 3-2 on the Canadiens going into Game 6. He turned his answer into a message for the present-day Canadiens as they prepare for Game 6 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). 

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column

Henrik Lundqvist motivated by goalie matchup against Carey Price

Playing best hockey of season for Rangers in series against Canadiens

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist has been the measuring stick for other goaltenders almost since entering the NHL with the New York Rangers in 2005. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price now carries that distinction.

Understanding how difficult it is for his teammates to score more than two goals in a game against Price has helped Lundqvist sharpen his focus and allowed him to play his best hockey of the season in the Eastern Conference First Round.

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column

Rangers use lessons learned to get crucial Game 4 win

Correct mistakes from past two losses to even series against Canadiens

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Lessons learned.

The New York Rangers evened their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens with a 2-1 win in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday because they didn't repeat the same mistakes they made to lose Games 2 and 3.

"Today we played like we do when we're playing our game," Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said. "Today was a good testament to what kind of team we are when we're on top of our game and we really do what we talk about. Guys worked for each other. Guys knew how important this game was for us and went out there and got the job done."

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Over The Boards

Mailbag: Surprising playoff series

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly questions

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Here is the April 19 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday through the course of the 2016-17 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

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Round 1

Pavel Buchnevich could provide spark for Rangers

New York may insert rookie forward into Game 4 lineup against Canadiens on Tuesday

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said his lineup is set but won't reveal it publicly before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG).

The final decision Vigneault made at forward, likely between rookie Pavel Buchnevich and veteran Tanner Glass, could not have been easy, but it had to be easier than making no change at all considering how ineffective his group of 12 forwards were in a 3-1 loss in Game 3 on Sunday.

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playoffs

Alex Galchenyuk takes role with Canadiens in stride

Forward has produced for Montreal despite moving up and down lineup frequently

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk is doing his best to put an end to what was a negative storyline that could have affected him and his team going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"To be honest I'm kind of tired of talking about it," Galchenyuk said Monday.

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NHL Insider

Rangers hoping to solve home woes

New York, which has lost six straight in playoffs at MSG, looks to end streak in Game 4 against Canadiens

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Whether New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault rehearsed it or thought of it on the spot, he used an analogy Monday that he thinks is apropos to their position, both in the series and in the big ugly picture depicting their record at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers trail the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round after losing 3-1 in Game 3 at the Garden on Sunday. They have been outscored 21-4 there in losing six straight home games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating to Game 2 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final. They have lost nine of their past 11 home games this season (2-6-3).

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playoffs

Alexander Radulov a difference-maker for Canadiens

Forward scores highlight-reel goal, makes key defensive plays in win against Rangers

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Alexander Radulov's goal was spectacular, the perfect highlight to lead any postgame show detailing the Montreal Canadiens' 3-1 win against the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

His assist on Shea Weber's game-winning goal, the difference in Montreal taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, was equally brilliant for how he read the defense and realized the Canadiens had numbers below the dots.

Those showman plays are what have defined Radulov and made him special for a long time, since before he came to North America to play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League 13 years ago.

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