NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 5th (All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (5-5-2) at New York Rangers (5-3-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens target their fifth straight win when they invade Madison Square Garden tonight to take on the New York Rangers.
The Canadiens have ripped off four straight victories since a six-game slide and are coming off Friday's 2-1 triumph at Ottawa. Andrei Kostitsyn scored the eventual game-winner in the second period and Erik Cole netted the other goals for Montreal, which got 33 saves from goaltender Carey Price.
It was Montreal's first game since Oct. 29 and the Habs showed no signs of the layoff.
"We're happy with the two points," head coach Jacques Martin said on the team's website. "It's important. It puts us at .500 and, because of our start, we've got some ground to make up."
The Canadiens opened the campaign at 1-5-2 and are back at the .500 mark. Price has been a huge help and has given up just five goals during the win streak. He posted a 4-4-2 record in 10 games last month.
New York will resume its lengthy six-game homestand tonight and has won two straight since losing two in a row.
In Thursday's 2-1 win versus Anaheim in a shootout, Erik Christensen and Marian Gaborik scored in the shootout and Jeff Woywitka scored his first goal as a member of the Rangers. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the victory, as New York improved to 5-2-1 in its last eight games.
"I haven't been great in shootouts this year, I think I have to improve it a little bit, but it definitely helps when you have guys scoring tonight," Lundqvist said.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella said Friday that forward Wojtek Wolski will not play Saturday because of a groin problem and fan favorite Sean Avery will replace him in the lineup. Tortorella is one win shy of 100 with New York.
"I'm excited," Avery said on the club's site. "I feel good, for sure. We want to string some wins together, that's what it's all about. We've had a couple good games going into Saturday."
Avery was recalled Tuesday from Connecticut of the AHL and was a healthy scratch against the Ducks. He had three goals and 21 assists last season while leading the team with 174 penalty minutes. Avery is known around the league as an agitator and hopes to provide a spark in front of the home crowd.
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan has recorded four goals and an assist in the last five games and Brad Richards owns two goals and two assists over the past three contests. The Rangers will close out the residency Sunday versus Winnipeg.
Montreal took three of four meetings with the Rangers a season ago and has won six of the past eight games in this series. Richards leads the Rangers with seven goals, 11 assists and 18 points lifetime against the Canadiens.
11/05 10:34:09 ET