After a year without playoff hockey, Montreal readies for post-season run

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

In his first playoff game for the Rangers on Wednesday night, Smith was at that level.

Then there was a scramble faceoff in the Canadiens' zone to Carey Price's left with Tanner Glass beating defenceman Jeff Petry to the loose puck in the circle.

The one-on-one battle all night between New York's Mats Zuccarello and Montreal's Brendan Gallagher? This time, Kreider pulled up when barrelling toward Price in the first period. The Penguins won Game 1, 3-1, over the Blue Jackets. Rangers fans should just assume they're not going to get anything with the man advantage because the Blueshirts haven't done anything for years when it's counted most.

New York Rangers goalie Magnus Hellberg (45) celebrates with Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei, right, after the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 9, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Canadiens had chances, especially while outshooting NY 16-5 in the first period.

Hank is Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and, while he has struggled against the Canadiens in the regular season - particularly at the Bell Centre - he has a 5-2 record against Montreal in the playoffs and has shutouts in the last two playoff meetings between the teams.

"Because we have seven experienced defensemen, and ... to some extent [Steve] Kampfer coming in and playing as strong as I felt he did with his skating ability, it gives us options", Vigneault said of his defense.

The best-of-seven series continues Friday in Montreal. NY has quietly pieced together another impressive season and while they haven't had the offensive flare we have seen in year's past or the goaltending prowess from Henrik Lundqvist but they have been consistent and are a tough matchup in the opening round for a Montreal side that doesn't have a ton of scoring power and might be in tough here if Carey Price can't steal his team a few games on the road. The Rangers won the series in six games before losing to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

"My game doesn't change". Under head coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens are allowing half a goal fewer per game than they were under Michel Therrien.

Andrei Markov - The Montreal defenceman was ejected for spearing Rangers winger Rick Nash late in Game One. "I got it up, but he made a great save". They can do that by keeping the puck out of their end, which means they'll have to be a much better possession team than they were in the regular season.

This season, Price has a save percentage of.923, while Lundqvist's save percentage is.910.

It was the first National Hockey League post-season game for numerous Oilers and they gave the puck away carelessly far too often.

"They're a great team".

Lundqvist's shutout was as good as it could get for the Rangers. The Canadiens didn't play badly, other than not scoring a goal.

"You look at the other games tonight and there isn't a ton of scoring", Julien said.

Joe Thornton - San Jose's veteran centre didn't play in Game One against Edmonton, still hurting after suffering a knee injury late in the regular season.

Montreal went 16-7-1 to close out the year once Julien took over as head coach, earning the Atlantic Division title with a five-point cushion.

"If you look at the series, it's going to be a goaltending matchup", center Derek Stepan, who was tops on the Rangers with three points in the season series against Montreal, told the team's website.

Related:

  • From Opponents To Former Allies, Pressure Mounts Against South Africa's Zuma

    From Opponents To Former Allies, Pressure Mounts Against South Africa's Zuma

    Previous no-confidence motions in parliament against Zuma have failed as the ANC has a commanding majority there. Duarte said that the ANC had been aware of Zuma wanting to sack Gordhan from November a year ago .
    Assad allies say US attack on Syria air base crosses 'red lines'

    Assad allies say US attack on Syria air base crosses 'red lines'

    Tillerson insisted he had no concerns about possible Russian retaliation after the U.S. attack on the airbase. Iran has provided crucial military and economic assistance to Assad throughout Syria's six-year civil war.
    Canada introduces bill to legalize marijuana

    Canada introduces bill to legalize marijuana

    Government ministers said they hoped to have cleared legal hurdles in time to implement the legal marijuana proposal by July 2018. If the law succeeds, Canada will be the second country in the world to legalize marijuana . "We're going to change that".
  • 'Fate of the Furious' on track for biggest global opening ever

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens holds the current worldwide opening weekend box office record, also set in 2015 at $529 million. That film added an estimated $5 million to its total Friday , enough to place it in third heading into the weekend.

    Memphis Redbirds To Honor Jackie Robinson And The Memphis 13

    In 1997, the number 42 was retired across Major League Baseball and remains the only jersey number retired across the league. Jackie Robinson Day certainly won't heal America's divisions-or even baseball's divisions. "This is special", Maybin said.

    2nd suspect arrested as Swedish police reveal 1st sought asylum

    As of Sunday, 10 of the 15 people wounded in the truck attack in the Swedish capital remained hospitalized, including one child. A fire broke out Friday afternoon at the store after the truck smashed into shoppers at its entrance on Drottninggatan street.
  • Polls open in Turkey's historic referendum on reforms

    Erdogan was voted to power in August 2014, the first time a Turkish President had been directly chosen by popular vote. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed victory in the vote, which looks set to grant him sweeping new powers .

    Gwinnett County Police Officer Fired After Kicking Handcuffed Man In Head

    A Gwinnett County police officer has been terminated after video of a traffic stop shows him stomp a handcuffed man on the head. A prosecutor in Georgia has dismissed dozens of cases involving two former officers fired in a police brutality case .

    Washington may launch missile strike on Korean Peninsula - North Korea's institute

    North Korea's vice foreign minister says it will conduct its next nuclear test whenever its supreme headquarters sees fit. The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, while speaking to media, had said, "Military force can not resolve the issue".
  • India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements in various sectors

    India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements in various sectors

    They sustain our peoples and their livelihoods. "And, the one that has attracted the greatest attention is the Teesta", he said. However, the pressing issues Bangladesh faces with India seem to have lost steam in the fanfare of this historic visit.

    Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack

    Still, Mr Lavrov sought to put a positive spin on the talks with Mr Tillerson, saying they helped improve mutual understanding. Trump made the remark at a joint press conference with visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House.
    Maybe Apple's self-driving vehicle  project isn't a write-off after all?

    Maybe Apple's self-driving vehicle project isn't a write-off after all?

    This morning it was discovered that Apple was on the list for road testing autonomous vehicle permits in California. There have been reports in the past year that Apple scaled back plans to build its own vehicle.

Comments

Latest news

Disagreements on Syria puts US-Russia relations at 'all-time low'
But Lavrov said some progress has been made and that a working group would examine the state of US-Russia ties. It was also the first official trip by a prominent member of Mr Trump's cabinet.

McMaster: North Korea's provocations 'can't continue'
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the latest test but had "no further comment". Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analysed.

South Africans hold nationwide protests against Zuma
Bheka Ntuli from Durban said it was time South Africa sought a commited and passionate president who would listen to the masses. President Jacob Zuma on Monday described last week's protests demanding that he resign as racist.

Late Ibrahimovic penalty earns draw for Man Utd against Everton
Shaw was surprisingly named on the bench, with Mourinho having recently questioned the left back's commitment and focus. I came to do what I am able to do - to make it better and to bring the team to higher views so let's see what happens.

Celtics star Thomas' sister killed in auto accident
Saturday when it drifted off the road. "The thoughts & prayers of the entire organization are with Isaiah & his family". The accident reportedly occurred around 5 a.m. when Chyna Thomas' vehicle faded into the left shoulder of the highway.

Boy, 5, Crushed to Death at Sun Dial Rotating Restaurant in Atlanta
The restaurant will be closed for the Easter weekend because of the boy's death, CNN affiliate WGCL-TV in Atlanta reported. The child suffered critical injuries, however, and later died at the hospital, police said.

BC party leaders partake in Sikh celebration
Gaudet said if the New Democrats were to win the election, the province would return to the "dark days" of the 1990s. With files from Camille Bains in Vancouver.

Man City enjoy convincing win against Southampton
City are set to be without Bacary Sagna for the trip to Southampton - but skipper Vincent Kompany is pushing for a starting spot. The most recent game that took place in Manchester on October 23rd, previous year was a 1:1 draw and the latest meeting at St.

Tesla jumps after Elon Musk teases commercial truck, pickup
As he was tweeting Thursday, Musk also confirmed that the company would do its final unveiling of the Model 3 in July. In 2018, 500,000 vehicles of the young electric auto brand are to be sold worldwide.

Arsène Wenger defiant after 'damaging' loss to Crystal Palace
Arsene controls the footballing situation, he says he would tell us [his decision] "soon" and that it doesn't affect the team. Flamini made 246 appearances over two spells at Arsenal but is now concentrated on helping to keep Palace in the top-flight.

Woman fatally stabbed by Palestinian in Jerusalem, authorities say
The man was restrained and pinned down to the ground by police and civilians at the scene before being taken into investigation. Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center said the woman died soon after she was rushed there following the attack on Friday.

Reds set for top four - Ibra
Speaking to 2FM's Game On, Dunphy said: "It's a bit of a mystery why Mourinho is so savage with him and repeatedly digs him out". But we've got a home game next, let's see if we can get some momentum, try to get a win in that and we'll try to do that".

British woman killed in Jerusalem stabbing attack
The woman, who is in her twenties, was then taken for further treatment to the Hadassah Medical Center, Mount Scopus. She was brought to the hospital in critical condition, with multiple stab wounds to the upper body, a medic said.

NCAA football recruiting changes at a glance
This portion of the legislation doesn't become effective until August 1 and will affect the class of 2019. Only the Collegiate Commissioners Association can create new National Letter of Intent signing periods.

British student stabbed to death by Palestinian in Jerusalem
Another woman, who is pregnant, was injured when the train stopped, and a man was hurt while trying to flee the assailant. Later the city's Hadassah University Medical Center told the Jerusalem Post that Bladon had died of her wounds.

Other news