039010Game #19

NY Rangers vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Feb.23/2013 – 7:20pm


Canadiens Notes

…..The Canadiens are in a three-way tie atop the Eastern conference standings with the Pittsburgh  and New Jersey.  Meanwhile the Boston Bruins are  just 2 points back with 3 games in hand.   Toronto and Ottawa  are both tied with the Bruins in points.

….Going back to the beginning of the 2009-2010 season the Canadiens have beaten the Rangers ten of the last thirteen meetings and outscored  them 44-28.   The three losses came at Madison Square Garden.   At the Bell Centre over  that span the  Caaadiens  have won six straight outscoring the Rangers 24-7.

…..The Canadiens have a seven game home-ice winning streak over the Rangers and are 8-0-1 over the last nine at the Bell Centre.

…..The Rangers have been shut out three of their last five visits to the Bell Centre.    In those five games the Canadiens out scored the Rangers  20-3.

….It’s been almost four years since the Rangers won in Montreal (March 17,2009 4-3 in  a shootout).  Chris Drury scored the shootout game-winner.   Bob Gainey was  in his fourth  game  as coach after  dismissing  Guy  Carbonneau eight  days before.   It  was John Tortorella’s 10th  game  behind the Rangers bench after taking over from fired Tom Renney.

…..They Rangers last  won in regulation time at the Bell Centre on a Super Bowl Sunday afternoon game February 3rd 2008.  The only players in the current Canadiens dressing room  who have  memories  of that  game are  Plekanec, Gorges , Markov and Francis Bouillon.  Cristobal Huet was in goal  for the Canadiens.  Later  on that night in Super Bowl XLII the New  York Giants ruined the New England Patriots perfect  season  when Plaxico Burress caught Eli Manning’s touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining for  a 17-13  win.

….Brendan Gallagher is expected to return to the lineup after missing three games with a  concussion.

….The Canadiens’ penalty killers have been on the ice 78 times this season.  Only Philadelphia with 81 has had to deal with shorthanded situations more often.   Montreal has averaged 18.0 minutes in penalties per game, second in the NHL to Toronto’s  18.1.

…..The Canadiens power play was  1-for-4 against the Islanders Thursday but  they have only  two goals in their  last 26 advantages (7%) after scoring 13 in the season’s first 56 opportunities (23%).

…..Still the Canadiens  special teams are nearly a wash. The Canadiens have scored 15 on  the power play  while giving  up 14 while  shorthanded.

…..The Habs are 7-0-1 when leading at the end of the  first period.   When the Canadiens open the scoring they have won 9 of 17 games.   In the  league, only Pittsburgh,with 10 wins,  has a better record.

…..Montreal has allowed five shots in the first period in each of its last three games.

…..Three times the Canadiens have lost games after holding a lead going into the third period, once in regulation time (Boston) and twice in overtime (Buffalo and the  NY Islanders)

…..Montreal has 15 points at home this season (7-3-1) ranking them second in the league.

…..The Canadiens are 9-0-1 in games outside the Northeast Division.  The  only blemish is the  overtime loss to  the  Islanders Thursday.

From The Rangers  –

….Heeding Henrik Lundqvist‘s difficulties  at  the Bell Centre the last four seasons (see below), John Tortorella has elected to go with Martin Biron in goal.   Biron will make  his third appearance  of the  season, one of them in relief of Henrik Lundqvist. He is 1-0-1 with a 2.31GAA, and a save % of .928.    It  will be his 29th career appearance against the Canadiens.. He’s faced Montreal 29 times overall in his career.

….The Rangers have at least a point in ten of their last 14 games (8-4-2).  However  they are   losers of two  in a row and  three of four games since a three-game  winning streak from Feb. 7-12.       New York hasn’t lost three in a row since an 0-3-0 stretch from March 6-9 of last season.

……..The Rangers have blown a lead in four of their last  five games including the Canadiens on Tuesday when they scored  the game’s opening goal.

…..The last time  the Rangers shut out the Canadiens in Montreal was prior to expansion, February 25, 1967.   Ed Giacomin 5-0.

.….Rick Nash will miss his third straight  game. The  Rangers refuse to discuss the injury leading  some to  speculate it’s  a  Milan Lucic induced concussion, but that  seems unlikely considering Nash  played two games after the hit  before sitting out the Canadiens game Tuesday. Nash has also had some groin problems this year, which  seems a more logical explanation.

…The Rangers have  placed Nash on IR retroactively so they can place 20 year old RW Christian Thomas on their roster.  Whether the 5’9″ Thomas plays against the Canadiens will be a gametime decision.  At Hartford had 10 points in his last 12  games.

…  Defenceman Michael Del Zotto  also is a doubtful starter with what looks like a hip injury suffered in Ottawa. Steve Eminger has re-called  from the Rangers Hartford farm club to replace him.

….The Rangers have one win in their last four games and dropped their last two.  After losing to  the  Canadiens on Tuesday they suffered a  shootout loss in Ottawa Thursday.

….The Rangers have successfully killed off 17 of the last 18 opposition power play opportunities.

….New York’s power play is 30th in the league –   (7/59, 11.9%)  They are 28th on the road (2/24, 8.3%)

….Struggling centre Brad Richards found himself on the bench in the third period of Thursday’s loss in Ottawa just one week after coach John Tortorella sat him down for all but one third period shift during   the home ice  loss to the Islanders.

…. New York is tied for 24th in the NHL with a 2-3-1  record on the road.

….Rookie J.T. Miller scored two goals in his debut Feb. 7.      At  19 years, 330 days, he  is the youngest Ranger to tally multiple goals in a single game since Alex Kovalev posted a hat trick on Dec. 27, 1992, at the age of 19 years, 307 days.

….Henrik Lundvist has lost four straight starts in  Montreal and, in his last nine starts  against the Canadiens he is 3-6-0.   In his 26 career appearances against Montreal he is 13-10-2,

….That said……  Lundqvist — is 7-4-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .927 Save% in his last 12 games.   He  has held opponents to two goals or less in eight of his last 11 games (6-4-1, 1.89 GAA, .930 save %)


Statistics –

Team  Records –  Rangers (8-6-2)  8th in Eastern Conference; third Atlantic Division.   Canadiens (11-4-2)  First in Eastern Conference and Northeast Division.

Last Ten Games–  New York 5-3-2, Montreal 6-2-2.

Season  Series – Second of three meetings. Tuesday the Canadiens won 3-1 at  Madison  Square Garden.

Home/Road –  Rangers on the Road (2-3-1)  Canadiens at Home (7-3-1)

Goaltending – Rangers-  Martin Biron –  3 appearances (1-0-1)  2.31GAA,   .928 save %.   Canadiens- Carey Price 14GP (9-3-1) 2.12GAA  .919save%.

Special  Teams – Power Play –  Rangers rank 30th  7/59 11.9%  Canadiens rank 12th  15/82  18.3%.   Penalty Killing –  Rangers rank  9th  10/60  83.3%   Canadiens rank 17th  14/78  82.0%.

Who’s Hot: Rangers –  Derek Stepan has points in three straight games and has four points in his last five games.  Canadiens – Max Pacioretty has goals in  three straight games and has four plus three assists in his last four. David Desharnais has a goal  and four assists in his last four.

Injuries- Rangers – Rick Nash (undisclosed); D-Michael Del Zotto (suspected hip);  RW-Arron Asham (undisclosed);  C-Daroll Powe (IR-concussion);D-Michael Sauer (IR-post concussion syndrome).  Canadiens – C-Petteri Nokelainen (IR-back)