Preview Game #60

NY Rangers vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Feb. 22nd, 2018 – 7:35pm

Season Records – NY Rangers 60GP (27-28-5) 59 pts. 23rd in league. Canadiens 59GP (22-29-5) 52 pts. 28th in the league.

Last Ten Games – Rangers (2-8-0) Canadiens (2-6-2)

Home/Away – Rangers on the road (9-17-2) Canadiens at home (14-10-6)

Lineup Changes

….Carey Price diagnosed with a concussion. Antti Niemi in goal for Canadiens vs. rookie Alexandar GeorgievCharlie Lindgren will back up Niemi.

….Noah Juulsen will make NHL debut.  Who sits will be gametime decision.  He has been assigned #58.


….Third of three meetings – @Madison Square Garden Oct. 8th Rangers-2 Canadiens-0. Lundqvist 34 saves. Skjei and Zibanejad scored. Canadiens had two goals disallowed in first period. @Bell Centre Oct. 28th -Canadiens-5 Rangers-4. Danault with 4 points including 2 goals .

….The Rangers have not won a season-series against the Canadiens in ten years (2007-2008)

….Overall since the 2012 lockout the Canadiens are 13-4-0 vs. the Rangers. At the Bell Centre they are 7-2-0 and 13-2-0 since the start of the 2009-2010 season. Over that stretch they have outscored New York 49-22.

….Over the 17 games played between the teams since 2012, nine wound up with recorded shutouts – Carey Price has five of them plus Peter Budaj. For the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist has two shutouts and Talbot the other.

….Career vs. the Rangers Antti Niemi 3-4-1 with one shutout, a 3.07GAA and .896 save% in eight appearances.

….Since 2012 Price has started 14 games vs. the Rangers with a record of 12-2-0, a 1.23GAA and .957 save%.

….Over the same stretch Lundqvist has a 2-8-0 vs. Montreal with a .903 save% and 2.88 GAA.

In The Tank

….The Canadiens are in a three-way tie with Edmonton and Ottawa, each with 52 points after 59 games.

….Regular & overtime wins is the tiebreaker. The Oilers have 22 for 27th place overall. The Canadiens are 28th (fourth in the draft lottery) with 20 ROW; Ottawa 29th with 19 non-shootout wins.

….Currently Arizona and Buffalo are 1-2 in the draft lottery race. Buffalo trails the Canadiens by 7 points and Arizona by eight.

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens have lost six straight games overall (0-4-2) and nine of their last 11.

…..In 43 games since November 9th the Canadiens have managed three goals or more only 17 times. They are only 10-7 in those games.

….The Canadiens have been shut out eight times this season – tied with Ottawa for most in the league.

….Only one team in the league has a worse penalty killing record Opponents score on the Canadiens in 30.6% of their power plays (30/98).

….The Canadiens have led a game at the end of the first period in only 11 of their 59 games this season. In those games their record is 9-1-1.

….At home the Canadiens penalty killing ranks fourth in the league at 86.4%. (On the road they are 30th – 69.3%)

….As a member of the Canadiens Antti Niemi has appeared in 8 games, six of them starts.  With Montreal he has a 2-2-0 record with a 2.84 GAA and .914 save%. He started in his last appearance and gave up 3 goals on 6 shots at Vegas before replaced at 9:51 of the first period.  Carey Price took the loss.

….Price has given up 4-plus goals in 15 of his 42 starts this season, which already ties his career high.

….Brendan Gallagher has five goals, 8 assists his last 12 games.

….Max Pacioretty ‘s current goalscoring slump is now ten games.

….Alex Galchenyuk has no goals his last eleven games.

….Tomas Plekanec has two goals on 86 shots on goal over the 45 games since November 4th.

….Karl Alzner will play in his 600th consecutive regular season game.

….Ofthe 38 goaltenders who have 20 or more starts this season Carey Price ranks 33rd in save percentage (.904); 31st in GAA.

About the Rangers

….The Rangers have lost their last four games (0-4-0) and have lost 11 of their last 14 to drop to the Metropolitan Division cellar.

…..Bulgarian-born goaltender Alexandar Georgiev makes his NHL debut in this game. He had a record of 8-0-1 in his last nine AHL appearances with Hartford with a .948 save% and 1.76GAA with two shutouts.

….During their four game losing streak Henrik Lundqvist has given up 18 goals on 128 shots. Lundqvist has appeared in 27 of the Rangers last 30 games.

….Defenseman Rob O’Gara will also make his Rangers debut after being in a trade with Boston for Nick Holden earlier in the week.

….Defenseman Marc Staal returns to the Rangers lineup after missing eight games with a cervical strain.

….In 57 games with the Rangers this season David Desharnais has 25 points (6g, 19a)

….Rick Nash needs one point to reach 800 for his career.

….Nash, who is expected to be traded by Monday is one of two players who have scored 20 or more goals in at least 12 seasons since 2003-04, (Also Ovechkin).

….Michael Grabner ranks fourth in the league in even strength goals with 24 (he has none on the power play). Kucherov leads with 27; Ovechin 26 and Auston Matthews 25.

….Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in points with 43 and assistswith 33. He has 2 goals, nine assissts in his last 14 games.

….The Rangers power play has produced 11 goals the last 14 games (11/40 – 27.5%)

Goaltending –

….Antti Niemi has appeared in 13 games this season(with Pittsburgh, Florida & Canadiens) with a 2-6-1 record,’ 4.18GAA and .880 save%.

….Alexandar Georgiev will make his NHL debut. At Hartford he was 12-11-2 with a 2.97GAA and .908 save%.

Special Teams Power Play – Rangers rank 13th (38/183) 20.6%. Canadiens rank 7th (38/177 21.5%. Penalty Killing – Rangers rank 7th (33/187) 82.4%, Canadiens rank 25th (42/184) 77.2%.

Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 92-Jonathan Drouin 62-Artturi Lehkonen

27-Alex Galchenyuk Phillip Danault 54-Charles Hudon

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

20-Nicolas Deslauriers 92-Byron Froese 43-Daniel Carr

22-Karl Alzner 26-Jeff Petry

45-Joe Morrow 8-Jamie Benn

53-Victor Mete 58-Noah Juulsen

37-Antti Niemi

Healthy Scratch – C Jacob de la Rose; LW Daniel Carr; D David Schlemko

Injuries – C Andrew Shaw (IR lower body); D Shea Weber (IR broken foot); RW Ales Hemsky (IR concussion)

NY Rangers Lines and Pairings

61-Rick Nash 93-Mika Zibanejad 89-Pavel Buchnevich

26-Jimmy Vesey 13-Kevin Hayes 36-Mats Zuccarello

40-Michael Grabner 51-David Desharnais 17-Jesper Fast

8-Cody McLeod 12-Peter Holland 10-J.T. Miller

76-Brady Skjei 44-Neal Pionk

Marc Staal 77-Anthony DeAngelo

58-John Gilmour 46-Rob O’Gara

90-Alexander Georgiev

Injuries – D Ryan McDonagh (upper body); G Ondrej Pavelec (IR-sprained MCL); D Marc Staal (IR cervical strain) D Kevin Shattenkirk (IR torn Meniscus); LW Chris Kreider (IR blood clot)

Healthy Scratches – D Steven Kampfer;  RW Vinni Lettieri;  C Paul Carey;