NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 12th
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (22-13-8) at New York Rangers (20-19-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try again for their first win of
2008 tonight, as they host the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers wrapped December with three straight wins, but have gone 0-4-1 in
their first five games of January. That included a winless three-game road
trip and setbacks in the first two games of their current three-game homestand
that concludes tonight. The Rangers are 13-10-0 at home this year.
New York was last in action on Thursday, when it fell to Atlantic Division
rival Philadelphia, 6-2.
Ryan Hollweg posted the first two-goal game of his career, as the Rangers
continued to struggle on offense. New York went 0-for-7 on the power play
against the Flyers and has lit the lamp only 107 times this year, tied for the
second-lowest total in the Eastern Conference.
Dan Girardi added two assists for New York, which is on its longest losing
streak of the season and will try to avoid its first six-game slide since
losing seven in a row from December 16-29 of last season.
Henrik Lundqvist allowed a season-high tying six goals on 30 shots in defeat
and is 0-3-1 in his last four starts, giving up 16 goals in that span. His
slump may have cost him an All-Star berth, as he was left off the Eastern
Conference roster when the reserves were announced on Friday.
Scott Gomez, who leads New York with 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists), was
named to the squad.
Meanwhile, Montreal has won two straight and three of four after Thursday's
5-2 victory over Boston. Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre scored in the first
period and Alex Kovalev tallied in the second to stake Montreal to a three-
Boston then rallied for a pair of goals, but Mathieu Dandenault scored twice
in the third stanza to lift Montreal. Dandenault hadn't lit the lamp since
December 6, a span of 13 games.
Kovalev extended his point streak to five games, amassing three goals and five
assists in that span.
Defenseman Andrei Markov is Montreal's lone All-Star representative, as he was
voted in as a starter.
Cristobal Huet stopped 23-of-25 shots against Boston to post his third
straight win and 13th victory of the season. He is 1-1-1 with 2.11 goals-
against average and one shutout in four career games versus the Rangers.
Thursday's win came in the opener of a four-game road trip that will also
feature games against the New York Islanders and Atlanta. Montreal has won
three of its last four on the road and is 14-6-3 as the visiting team this
New York beat the Habs on December 30 at Madison Square Garden and has taken
four of the last five meetings. Montreal has dropped three in a row in the Big
01/12 10:43:42 ET