April 24, 2017

Henrik Lundqvist helps Rangers in win

14 April 2017, 02:41 | Simon Arnold

Henrik Lundqvist helps Rangers in win

Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin skates around Columbus Blue Jackets William Karlsson during the first period in Game one of a first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series in Pittsburgh Wednesday

The Canadiens general manager collects fourth-liners like a kid with hockey cards.

Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko was quiet for most of the night until he drove into a crowd and threaded a pass through the Wild defence to Edmundson, who knocked in the second post-season goal of his career.

"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.

But offence continues to be the team's biggest problem and it was again in a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series Wednesday night.

With home-ice advantage now in their favor after a Game 1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, the Rangers have a chance to pin their original six rivals up against the proverbial wall with a strong Game 2 performance Friday.

Price is 15-5-1 with a 1.82 goals against average and.940 save percentage in his career against the Rangers while Lundqvist, who seems to have never quite got over blowing a 5-0 lead and losing to Montreal on February 20, 2008, is 14-17-3 with a 2.57 average and.898 save percentage against Montreal.

One solution would be to move Galchenyuk back up to play with Shaw and Lehkonen from the jump. If either plays like it did in between, the Canadiens are in trouble.

Both squads are dealing with late-season injuries.

The Canadiens meanwhile have really turned things up since the trade deadline and are starting to look more and more like the Cup contender we have grown to see over the years but they have a tough first round matchup here against the first wild card team from NY. However, the Canadiens won all three regular season matchups this year and will be looking for revenge three years removed from being denied a shot at the Cup, this time, with their top goaltender in net.

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Galchenyuk and Beaulieu - both former first-round draft picks by Montreal - can become restricted free agents this summer and, like Subban, could find themselves playing elsewhere next season. The last to do it was Mats Naslund in 1985-86, when he finished eighth with 43-67-110 totals. Can this be the year that the Cup comes back to Canada?

Montreal went 3-0-0 against Lundqvist and the Rangers in the regular season, continuing the trend of the last two seasons in which Carey Price has shone against the Blueshirts while Lundqvist has labored.

The Rangers could have gotten conservative after taking the early lead, but they instead outshot their opponent 26-15 in the final two periods, and the aggressiveness paid off with a win to open the series.

Mission accomplished-and that much was potentially foreseeable after the Rangers put together the NHL's best road record this season. "Hopefully we'll have good Games 1 and 2 and that'll carry over to our barn for 3 and 4".

Leading 1-0 on Tanner Glass' goal in the first period, Lundqvist had to be sharp. "It's a tight game. We're just going to have to make the best of every opportunity we get at the other end". "So that's the positive thing about moving forward here".

BRUINS 2, SENATORS 1: Brad Marchand broke a tie with 2:33 left and the Boston Bruins held on to beat the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. "You got to make your own bounces and your own breaks and some nights you get them, sometimes you don't".

Many of you out there who took our (very informal) poll are confident the Canadiens will be moving on to round two. I need to get more for sure; you have to work that much harder in the playoffs to get your chances, your looks.

"You know, the luxury I have is I have another day to think about it", Julien said. If they're hitting us more that means we have the puck more and that's an area that we want to improve.

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