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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 19th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (10-4-1) at New York Rangers (8-5-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers try to start another winning streak on Tuesday when they welcome the Montreal Canadiens to Madison Square Garden.
New York had its three-game winning streak stopped on Thursday against the Islanders, but bounced back on Sunday, as Derek Stepan scored the go-ahead goal on the power play early in the third period and Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to lead the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over Washington.
"I think special teams are key," said Lundqvist, who has won his last four starts. "Lately, the PK (penalty kill) has been great, the power play's getting really good. I think that's a huge part of having success in this league is having special teams go well for you."
Carl Hagelin had the other goal for the Rangers, who have now registered at least one point in nine of their last 12 contests (8-3-1) after dropping the first two games of the season.
"He creates a ton of offense for us," head coach John Tortorella said of Hagelin, who has five goals and two assists over his last four games. "He's been really good with (Stepan) and (Rick Nash). It's been a pretty good line."
All the news wasn't great, though, as rugged winger Darroll Powe left the contest following a mid-ice collision and was placed on the injured reserve list Monday. He is out indefinitely with what looked like a concussion.
The Rangers, who have won three in a row at MSG, are 6-2-1 on their ice this season.
Montreal is also rolling and enters this contest having won four in a row following a 3-0 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty scored 18 seconds apart during a three-goal third period, and former Ranger Brandon Prust scored the other goal for the Canadiens, who sit atop the Northeast Division.
Peter Budaj started in place of an ill Cary Price and recorded his 10th career shutout with a 19-save performance.
"It's always a bonus when you get a shutout," Budaj said. "We played good defensive hockey, lots of blocked shots."
Price could return from his bout with the flu on Tuesday. He is 8-3-0 on the year with a 2.06 goals against average. However, he is just 1-3-0 with a 3.95 GAA in his last four starts versus the Rangers.
Montreal has dominated its series with the Rangers of late, taking seven of 10 and eight of the last 12 meetings. The Canadiens, though, have struggled at MSG, where they have dropped five of seven.
02/19 10:34:03 ET