NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 15th
(All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (28-10-4) at Montreal Canadiens (16-20-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers may sit at the top of the NHL
standings, but that reign could be a short one if they can't snap their losing
streak in Montreal.
The Rangers seek a seventh victory in eight games this evening, but to do so
they'll need to halt a five-game road slide to the Canadiens at the Bell
New York had a five-game win streak halted in a shutout loss to the Senators
on Thursday, but bounced back last night with a solid effort from backup
goaltender Martin Biron to knock off the Maple Leafs 3-0.
With starter Henrik Lundqvist looking on from the bench, Biron made 20 saves
for his second shutout of the season and 28th of his career. The reserve is
9-2-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 12 games
"I can't even call him a backup. He's played really well," Rangers head coach
John Tortorella said about Biron. "He's just a perfect fit for where we are as
a team. He's a great teammate."
Mike Rupp, Brian Boyle and Derek Stepan lit the lamp for New York, which won
for the 11th time in 13 games despite Brandon Dubinsky sitting out with a sore
New York now has 60 points on the season, one more than Vancouver for the most
in the NHL. The Canucks are also in action Sunday night.
The Rangers have won four straight on the road, upping their season mark as
the guest to 15-6-2. However, they haven't won in Montreal since March 17,
2009 and have been shutout in three of their last five trips there. That
includes a 4-0 defeat on Nov. 19, the Habs' sixth victory in eight games
versus the Rangers overall.
Carey Price made 17 saves in that win, improving to 4-3-1 with a 2.90 GAA and
a pair of shutouts in nine games versus the Rangers.
Price made 23 saves last night against the Senators, but still suffered a 3-2
loss after giving up the only goal of the shootout.
Max Pacioretty forced extra time on a goal with 38.9 seconds left and Tomas
Plekanec also netted a goal as the Habs have lost three in a row and 10 of
their past 13. That includes a 3-8-1 mark under interim head coach Randy
"We missed two points tonight," Plekanec said "It's disappointing because
overall we did better. After our first goal we stopped playing a bit and they
pushed us back. We have a tough time in shootouts, we just have to find a way
Montreal is eligible to debut Rene Bourque this evening after he served the
final contest of his five-game suspension for elbowing Washington's Nicklas
Backstrom on Jan. 3 while with the Flames. He was acquired on Thursday from
Calgary in a deal that sent Mike Cammalleri back to the Flames.
In 38 games with Calgary this year, the 30-year-old Bourque had 13 goals and
01/15 10:32:17 ET