NY Rangers vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – Jan. 15/2012 – 7:05pm
Game Notes –
…… The Canadiens have lost three in a row and 10 of their past 13. That includes a 3-8-1 mark under interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth.
…..Over the years the Rangers have played 303 regular season games in Montreal. This is only the fifth time on a Sunday night. . The last one was on Super Bowl Sunday in 2008, when the Rangers won 5-3 in an afternoon game — which was also their last regulation win in Montreal. The other Sunday games were played in 1942, 1970 and 2000.
……The Rangers haven’t won in Montreal since March 17, 2009 and have been shutout in three of their last five games at the Bell Centre. That includes the 4-0 Canadiens win Nov. 19, Montreal’s sixth victory in eight games versus the Rangers overall.
……Peter Budaj will start in goal for the Canadiens, his first start in ten games. Carey Price, who will be the game’s backup, is 4-3-1 with a 2.90 GAA and a pair of shutouts in nine games versus the Rangers.
…. Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who had his seven-game winning streak snapped by the Senators on Thursday, has won his last two starts against the Canadiens – both at home. However, he’s posted a 4.88 goals-against average during a personal three-game skid at Montreal.
…..The Canadiens led the NHL with 717 blocked shots. The Rangers are ranked third with 692. Josh Gorges leads the NHL with 122 blocks. Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi is fourth overall at 106.
….After being held to one goal in his previous 13 games, Max Pacioretty scored his 13th to force overtime Saturday. He is one goal shy of matching his career high from last season.
….Left winger Rene Bourque will make his Canadiens debut against the Rangers after serving his five-game suspension for elbowing Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom on Jan. 3 while with the Flames. In 38 games with Calgary this year, the 30-year-old Bourque had 13 goals and three assists.
…….New York now has 60 points on the season, one more than Vancouver for the most in the NHL. The Canucks are also in action Sunday night.
…..The Rangers own the third-best road record in the NHL at 15-6-2, while the Canadiens are third-worst at home, 28th overall, at 7-8-7. The Rangers have won four straight on the road after last night’s victory in Toronto, and six of their last seven.
……The Canadiens have eleven back-to-back series games this season. In the first games they are 3 and 4 including losses in the last four. Entering tonight’s game they are 1 and 5 including a shootout and overtime loss. Last year the Candiens were 10-5-1 in first games and 6-7-3 on the back end.
……The Rangers are now 6-0-1 in the front end of back-to-back games — and are 5-0-1 in the back end entering this game. Since 2009-10, New York is 26-8-3 in the second game of back-to-backs.
…..Te Rangers have won ten of their last 12 games.
. … The Canadiens are 1-6 in shootouts this season and have scored on only four of 24 shootout attempts.
….. The Rangers have dropped their last five visits to Montreal. All time they are 64-197-40-2 all-time.
……In their 3-0 win at Toronto last night, the Rangers were credited with 47 hits, 27 of them in a first period. They are credited with the second most hits in the NHL this season, 1219. (Los Angeles has 1226). The Canadiens rank 18th with 926.
……..Montreal begins the night eight points behind eighth-place Washington in the East.
The Cold Hard Stats –
Season Records – NY Rangers 42GP (28-10-4) 60pts. First in Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference Canadiens – 44GP (16-20-8) 40pts. Last in Northeast Division; 12th in Eastern Conference.
Last Ten Games: New York (8-2-0) Canadiens (3-6-1)
Season Series: The Original Six rivals are meeting for the third time this season. They split the first two. Nov 3 @ Madison Square Garden Rangers-5 Canadiens-3. Rangers ran up a 3-0 first period lead started by a goal with the Canadiens two men short following an officiating snafu started when Michael Blunden jumped onto the ice too soon and hit Brandon Dubinsky. There were a two fights and a pair of ejections. Nov.19 @ Bell Centre -Canadiens-4 Rangers-0. Behind Carey Price’s second consecutive shutout performance the Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4-0 ending New York’s seven game winning streak. Price stopped 17 shots in the game . Brian Gionta scored twice for the Canadiens. Tomas Plekanec and Erik Cole each had a goal and assist. The three stars were Gionta, Cole and Price.
Home/Road – Rangers on the Road (15-6-2) Canadiens at Home (7-8-7)
Goaltending – NY Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist – 31GP (19-8-4) 1.89GAA .937save%. Canadiens – Peter Budaj – 5GP (1-4-0) 2.81GAA .902save%.
Who’s Hot: Canadiens – Erik Cole – 4goals 3 assist last eight games. David Desharnais – 2 goals 10 assists last 13 games.
Special Teams – Power Play – NY Rangers ranked 23rd – 14.6% (22/151) Canadiens ranked 29th – 12.9% (22/171) Penalty Killing – Rangers ranked 6th – 86.4% (19/140) Canadiens ranked 2nd – 89.0% (19/173)
The Missing: NY Rangers – C-Brandon Dubinsky (shoulder); D- Michael Sauer (IR-concussion); D-Steve Eminger (IR-separated shoulder); LW-Ruslan Fedotenko (back spasms); C-Chad Kolarkik (IR-knee surgery); D-Jeff Wywitka (IR-foot). Canadiens – RW- Brian Gionta (IR-biceps surgery); D-Andrei Markov (IR-artghroscopic knee surgery) RW-Ryan White (IR-sports hernia surgery); D-Brendon Nash (IR-shoulder surgery)