Preview Game #3 – Eastern Conference Quarterfinal

Canadiens vs. NY Rangers

Madison Square Garden – April 16, 2017 – 7:10pm

Lineup Changes

….Alex Galchenyuk will start the game on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Artturi Lehkonen. Torrey Mitchell will replace Andreas Martinsen on the right side of the fourth line with Steve Ott and Dwight King. Brandon Davidson will make his playoff debut; paired with Nathan Beaulieu.

….Although now skating and considered day-to-day, Alexei Emelin did not make the trip to New York on Saturday with his teammates. Emelin has now missed four games. He was hurt vs. Buffalo April 5th.


….The Rangers have won 9 of the last 12 playoff games vs. the Canadiens dating back to Game three of the Eastern Conference 1996 Quarterfinal.

….The Canadiens are 9-3 all-time vs. the Rangers in playoff Game 3’s.   In New York they are 7-2 in the third game.

….The last time the Canadiens beat the Rangers in a playoff overtime game at home was the Apr. 41957 semi-final – Maurice Richard. It was the fourth home OT win in Rangers/Canadiens playoff history.

….Game two was the first OT playoff game in Montreal between the Canadiens and Rangers since Game 5 of the 1974 Stanley Cup quarterfinal.

….Combined hits for the first two games of the series were 227 more than double the 103 hits in the first two games of the 2014 Canadiens/Rangers series.

….A sign of the beefed-up Canadiens lineup – in this year’s first two games the Canadiens recorded 108 hits vs. the Rangers. In the opening two games of the 2014 series they registered 46. (In the entire 2014 series the Canadiens had 143).

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens have won 70 of 94 playoff series that started on their home ice.

….The Canadiens have won five of their last eight playoff overtime games. Prior to that they had lost six of eight.

….The Canadiens win Friday was their 12th come-from-behind of the season after trailing going into the third period. Pittsburgh and Winnipeg have eight comeback wins.

….Tomas Plekanec has not been below 50% in faceoffs since March 28 vs. Dallas. Over his last seven games including the two playoff games he has won 83 of 130 draws – 63.8%.

….In the two games against the Rangers Plekanec has won 28 of 45 – 62.2%. Twenty-seven of his forty five faceoffs were against Rangers #1 centre Derek Stepan where he is 66.7% – (18 of 27). During the regular season Plekanec was at 51.2%.

….Tomas Plekanec with 17.3 seconds left in the third period is the latest game-tying goal in franchis history and the first to tie a game in the last minute since Alex Kovalev in the opening 2008 Conference Semi-final against Philadelphia. The Canadiens also won that game.

….Max Pacioretty has attempted 25 shots in the series first two games – a series leading 12 of them on goal. He has one assist.

….Paul Byron leads the Canadiens with 15 hits through the first two games (7 in Game One; 8 in Game-Two). Alexander Radulov has 10 hits. (The top “hitters” on the Rangers are Jesper Fest and Tanner Glass with 12 each)

….Radulov is the 55th different player in Canadiens history to score a playoff overtime goal and the second Russian born player. (Alex Kovalev, April 12, 2008 vs. Boston).

….Radulov now has 17 points in 20 career NHL playoff games – 0.85 points per game. Shea Weber with 43 points in in 61 playoff games, ranking him in points per game at 0.70.

….The Canadiens have won five of their last eight playoff overtime games. Prior to that they had lost six of eight.

….Jeff Petry has scored the opening goal in two of the Canadiens last three postseason games. Petry had gone 48 games without a goal including the playoffs (last goal Dec. 23rd).

….The Canadiens recorded 58 shots on goal in Game two. The franchise record in a playoff game is 63 (Apr. 25, 1967 Game 3)

….After 101 regular season games defenseman Brandon Davidson will make his playoff debut (replacing Nikita Nesterov) and will be paired with Nathan Beaulieu. He is the fifth member of the Canadiens to make a playoff debut in this series joining Byron, Danault, Lehkonen and Martinsen. On the current roster Montoya and McCarron have yet to see career playoff action.

….The Canadiens AHLaffiliate squeezed into the playoffs for the first time in seven years when the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-1 Saturday night in the final game of their 76 game schedule. Chris Terry led the IceCaps in goals (30) and points 68 and is second in the AHL scoring race. Charles Hudon finished with 27 goals and 49 points. Nikita Scherbak was third in points with 41 including 13 goals. The IceCaps open their playoffs against Syracuse (Tampa affiliate) on Friday night at Mile One Centre.

About the Rangers

….Of the 16 teams to enter the postseason the Rangers have the worst home record – 21-16-4. They are one of only two teams in the league to gain fewer points at home (46) than on the road). The Rangers led the NHL in road wins with 27.

….The Rangers their last two regular season home games. Prior to that they had dropped eight in a row.

….The Rangers also lost both regular season game to the Canadiens at home.

….The Rangers 74 hits in Game Two were the most for the team in a playoff game since the NHL started tracking them twenty years ago.

….The Rangers have lost their last five home playoff games starting with a 6-2 loss in Game 2 of the 2015 Eastern Conference final against Tampa Bay. In that stretch they’ve been outscored 18-3. In their last four games they were shutout three times and outscored 12-1.

….The Rangers have a 6-3 series record in the last nine series in which they split the first two games. They have gained a split in the first two games in each of their last five series dating back to 2015.


….In the series – Carey Price has given up four goals on 68 Rangers shots for a .941 save%.

….In his last five starts at Madison Square Garden Price is 5-0-0 with a 1.05GAA, a .961 save% and one shutout.

….In Price‘s playoff career – 56GP; 2.58GAA; .913save percentage; 5 shutouts.

….Lundqvist has also allowed 4 on 89 shots for a .958 save%.

….Career in the playoffs Lundqvist – 56-60, 2.27GAA; .922ave% and ten shutouts.

Special Teams

….Regular season and playoffs the Canadiens have four power play goals their last 45 advantages (8.9%).

….The last Canadiens forward to score a power play goal was Alex Galchenyuk in overtime in the Feb. 28th 1-0 win over Columbus. In the 45 opportunites since then defenseman  Nathan Beaulieu has scored twice along with Shea Weber and Andrei Markov scoring the other PPG’s

….There have been no power play goals in the first two games of the series. Each time is 0-for-7.

….Over the two playoff games and the final five games of the season, the Rangers have given up one power play goal over 19 times shorthanded (94.7%)

Canadiens Forward Lines & Pairings

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

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

62-Artturi Lehkonen 27-Alex Galchenyuk 65-Andrew Shaw

21-Dwight King 92-Steve Ott 17-Torrey Mitchell

79-Andrei Markov 6-Shea Weber

8-Jordie Benn 26-Jeff Petry

28-Nathan Beaulieu 88-Brandon Davidson

31-Carey Price

Injuries – D Alexei Emelin (lower body)

Scratches – C Brian Flynn; C Mike McCarron; RW Andreas Martinsen; D Nikita Nesterov

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 .