Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game One

NY Rangers vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – April 12, 2017 – 7:05pm

Head to Head

….The Canadiens won all three meetings with the Rangers this season outscoring them 11-7. One game decided in a shootout. All three of the games were played in a five week period between Feb. 21st and March 4th.

.. @Bell Centre Jan. 14 – Canadiens-5 Rangers-4. Canadiens score three goals on Henrik Lundqvist in span of 1:02 in third period (Emelin, Pacioretty & Byron) Danault-three assists. @ New York Feb. 21st – Canadiens-3 Rangers-2 (shootout). Byron with winner in shootout fifth round. Also Weber & Shaw. Lindberg & Nash for Rangers. Price vs. Lundqvist. @New York March 4 – Canadiens-4 Rangers-1. Canadiens take 3-0 lead on goals by Weber, Lehkonen and Shaw. Also Jordie Benn. Kreider for Rangers. Price vs. Lundqvist.

….The Canadiens have won 19 of the last 27 regular season games vs. the Rangers outscoring them 68-41.

….Since the start of the 2013-14 season the Canadiens have played the Rangers 15 times during the regular season with a record of 12-3-0.

….Shutouts were recorded in eight of the last 14 regular season meetings. For the Canadiens – Price with 5; Budaj – one. For the Rangers Lundqvist and Cam Talbot one apiece.

…..During the regular season the Rangers scored 253 goals – the Canadiens 223. The Canadiens have two players with more than 20 goals – Pacioretty 35; Byron 22. The Rangers have four with 20-plus including Chris Kreider, Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller.

In the Playoffs

….Starting in 1930 the Canadiens have played the Rangers 15 times – for the Rangers it’s the most of any NHL playoff opponent. The Rangers have an 8-7 edge in series.

….Since the league became the Original-12 in 1967-68 they have played each other seven times during which the Rangers have won four of seven including the last two – 1996 & 2014.

….In 2014, the Canadiens pushed the Rangers to six games before losing to them. Dustin Tokarski was in goal for the final five games after Carey Price was injured in the well-documented second period collision with Chris Kreider. The Rangers won the deciding 6th game 1-0. (Tokarski spent the 2016-17 season at AHL-San Diego in the Anaheim Ducks system).

….In the 2014 series the Rangers outscored the Canadiens 20-16. In their four series wins the Rangers outscored the Canadiens 14-5 – the Canadiens were shutout once, scored a single goal once and scored two goals in the other two games.

….Las Vegas listed the Canadiens as slight favourites to win the series. Both teams are listed at 15-1 to win the Stanley Cup.

The Coaching Factor

….Alain Vigneault and Claude Julien each had previous coaching stints with the Canadiens. Vigneault coached the Canadiens from 1997 to 2000 (replaced by Michel
) Julien  coached the team from January 2003 to January 2005 (hw had replaced Therrien)

….The only time Vigneault and Julien met in the playoffs was the 2011 final between the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. Boston won the Stanley Cup in the seventh game.

….In the playoffs Julien has a .560 winning percentage and a Stanley Cup.  Vigneault has a .488 win percentage in the playoffs with two losing appearances in the Stanley Cup final – with Vancouver and the Rangers.

….Vigneault and Julien were teammates on the defense of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the Central Hockey League between 1981 and ’83. At the time the Eagles were a St. Louis Blues affiliate.

….In the 24 games since Julien replaced Therrien the Canadiens were 16-7-1. Under Vigneault, the Rangers were 10-9-5 over the same stretch and 5-6-4 in their last 15 during which the Rangers were already locked into the first Eastern Conference wild card berth.

About the Canadiens

….With the exception of the lockout season, the Canadiens 21 point improvement over last season ties their largest one-season improvement in history. (equals 1936-37)

….Up to the point when Michel Therrien was fired the Canadiens were allowing 2.55 goals per game through 58 games. In the final 24 games they allowed 2.08 per game.

….Max Pacioretty led the Canadiens vs. the Rangers with 1 goal, 4 assists in three games. Phillip Danault 0g, 4a in three games. Three had 3 points – Weber (two goals, 1 ass); Emelin and Galchenyuk 1g, 2a)

….Gone from the Canadiens in the three years since they last met the Rangers in the playoff are head coach Michel Therrien, defensemen P.K. Subban, Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver; forwards Lars Eller, Thomas Vanek, Daniel Briere, Brian Gionta, Dale Weise, Michael Bournival, Rene Bourque and Brandon Prust plus goaltenders Dustin Tokarski Peter Budaj.  Only seven who played in that series remain today including Gallagher, Plekanec, Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Pacioretty, Markov and Price.

About the Rangers

….The Rangers finished the season with the league’s fourth best offense, averaging 3.05 goals per game. However in the final 20 games of the season the Rangers averaged 2.6 goals per game while going 8-8-4.

….The Rangers led the NHL with 27 road wins during the regular season. At home they had 21 wins, fewest among the sixteen postseason teams.

….The Rangers top scorer versus the Canadiens was Derek Stepan with 1 goal and three points. Rick Nash had two points, both of them goals.

….Only ten members of the Rangers are still with the team since the spring of 2014.  Gone are Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, Deriock Brassard, Carl Hagelin, Dominic Moore, Brian Boyle, Anton Stralman and goaltender Cam Talbot.


….Price vs. Lundqvist – career head-to-head playoffs and regular season – Price is 10-5-1 with a 2.67GAA. 913save% and two shutouts.   Lundqvist vs. Price 6-9-2 with a 3.08GAA, an .892 save% and no shutouts.

….During the regular season Carey Price was 3-0-0 vs. the Rangers with a 2.27GAA and .922 save%.

….Price is 7-0-0 in his last seven regular season starts vs. the Rangers with a 1.33GAA and .954save%.

….Extending that, in his last 12 regular season appearances vs. NY Price is 11-1 with a 0.93GAA and .968save% with five shutouts.

….Price finished the season with a 37-20-5 record with a 2.23GAA and .923 save percentage.

….In his 19 games under Therrien, Price improved his even-strength save percentage from .934 to .944. On the PK his save percentage went from .852 to .929 under the Julien system.

….In those final 19 games Price had a 1.72GAA and .937 save%.

….Versus the Canadiens this season Henrik Lundqvist was 0-2-1 with a 4.04GAA and 871 save%.

….The 35 year old Lundqvist was 31-20-4 during the regular season with a career worst 2.74GAA and .910 save%.

….In the regular season at the Bell Centre Lundqvist has a career record of 4-9-2 with a 3.87GAA and an .877 save percentage.

….In the 2014 playoff series Lundqvist was 2-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .915 save percentage. He was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots in the 7-4 game-five loss.

….Lundqvist leads all active NHL goaltenders in playoff appearances (116) and playoff wins (55) and is tied for first among active goaltenders in playoff shutouts with nine.

Special Teams

….Statistically the Rangers and Canadiens special teams were very close. Power play – the Rangers ranked 10th (47/232) 20.3%. The Canadiens PP ranked 3th (45/229) 19.7%. Penalty killing the Rangers ranked 19th (45/223) 79.8%; the Canadiens were 14th (47/249) 81.1%.

….Under Julien through the final 24 games of the seasons the Canadiens had the league’s top penalty killing record giving up only two in 27 times shorthanded – 92.6%. During that stretch the Canadiens moved from 22nd to 14th in the overall PK rankings.

….Thanks to their strong penalty killing Canadiens special teams were plus-7 down the stretch (They scored 9 PPG’s in 56 opportunities – a tepid 16%).

Canadiens Forward Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

41-Paul Byron 14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher

21-Dwight King 65-Andrew Shaw 62-Artturi Lehkonen

27-Alex Galchenyuk 92-Steve Ott 37-Andreas Martinsen

79-Andrei Markov 6-Shea Weber

8-Jordie Benn 26-Jeff Petry

28-Nathan Beaulieu 89-Nikita Nesterov

31-Carey Price

Injuries – D Alexei Emelin

Scratches – C Brian Flynn; C Mike McCarron; C Torrey Mitchell; D Brandon Davidson

NY Rangers Forward Lines & Pairings

20-Chris Kreider 21-Derek Stepan 36-Mats Zuccarello

26-Jimmy Vesey 93-Mika Zibanejad 61-Rick Nash

40-Michael Grabner 13-Kevin Hayes 10-J.T. Miller

15-Tanner Glass 24-Oscar Lindberg 19-Jesper Fast

27Ryan McDonagh 5-Dan Girardi

18-Mark Staal 22-Nick Holden

76-Brady Skjei 42-Brendan Smith

30-Henrik Lundqvist

Injuries – G Antti Raanta (knee)

Scratches – RW Pavel Buchnevich; LW Matt Puempl; LW Brandon Pirri; D Adam Clendening; D Stephen Kampfer; D-Kevin Klein .