Game 1: Rangers at Canadiens today (1 p.m.) … pre-game notes & Conference final schedules

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ICYMI overnight, here’s the complete schedule for the conference finals:

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Game 1: Saturday, 1 at Montreal.
Game 2: Monday, 8 at Montreal.
Game 3: Thursday, 8 at MSG.
Game 4: Sunday, 8 at MSG.
Game 5: Tuesday 5/27, 8 at Montreal.
Game 6: Thursday, 5/29, 8 at MSG.
Game 7: Saturday, 5/31, 8 at Montreal.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Game 1: Sunday, 3 at Chicago.
Game 2: Wednesday, 8 at Chicago.
Game 3: Saturday, 8 at LA.
Game 4: Monday, 9 at LA.
Game 5: Wednesday 5/28, 8 at Chicago.
Game 6: Friday 5/30, 9 at LA.
Game 7: Sunday 6/1, 8 at LA.

************************************************

Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:

NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Saturday, May 17, 1:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre – Montreal, QC
Rangers: 8-6*
Canadiens: 8-3*
* Record in the playoffs

TODAY’S GAME
The Rangers will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (1:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. The Blueshirts defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Metropolitan Division Finals on Tuesday to win the series, four games to three. New York enters tomorrow’s contest with a 221-239-8 record all-time in 468 playoff contests (124-92-2 at home; 97-147-6 on the road).
The Rangers entered the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second seed in the Metropolitan Division, having posted a 45-31-6 record (20-17-4 at home; 25-14-2 on the road) for 96 points. The Blueshirts are one of four teams, along with Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Jose, to make the playoffs in eight of the last nine years.

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS – RANGERS vs. CANADIENS
The Rangers and Canadiens are meeting in the playoffs for the 15th time, and the first time since the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996. The Rangers have posted a 7-7 playoff series record against Montreal, and are 25-34-2 in 61 playoff contests against the Canadiens. New York has faced off in more playoff series against Montreal than any NHL opponent, and has now faced the Canadiens in at least one playoff series in seven out of the last nine decades.

RANGERS vs. CANADIENS (Regular Season):
• All-Time: 192-324-94-4 overall (127-124-54-1 at home; 65-200-40-3 on the road)
• 2013-14: New York was 1-1-1 overall (0-1-0 at home; 1-0-1 on the road). All three contests were separated by two goals or fewer, and two games were separated by one goal. The Rangers allowed two goals or fewer in every contest, giving up a total of three goals in the three games. Cam Talbot posted his first career NHL shutout against Montreal on Nov. 16, while Brad Richards and Derek Stepan each tallied an assist against the Canadiens during the season. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill was 10-11 (90.9%) in the three contests.
• New York was 25-14-2 on the road during the regular season (4-3 in the playoffs); Montreal was 23-13-5 at home (4-1 in the playoffs)
• New York lists three former Canadiens on its roster: Dominic Moore (2009-10); Benoit Pouliot (2009-10 – 2010-11); Raphael Diaz (2011-12 – 2013-14)
• Montreal lists two former Rangers on its roster: Brandon Prust (2009-10 – 2011-12); Dale Weise (2010-11)
• Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh was originally selected by the Canadiens as a first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
• Rangers’ Head Coach Alain Vigneault served as the Canadiens’ coach from 1997-98 – 2000-01

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. CANADIENS (Regular Season):
• Henrik Lundqvist – 27 GP, 13-11-2, 2.84 GAA, 1 SO
• Martin St. Louis – 49 GP, 18-22—40
• Brad Richards – 40 GP, 9-14—23
• Dominic Moore – 28 GP, 4-13—17
• Dan Girardi – 28 GP, 3-6 —9

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-2 (2:01) in Game 7 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are 13th in the NHL overall (6-55, 10.9%), and are ninth on the road (3-26, 11.5%) in the playoffs. They have allowed one shorthanded goal in the playoffs: 5/7 vs. PIT (Sutter). New York ranked 15th in the NHL overall (48-264, 18.2%), and seventh on the road (28-132, 21.2%) during the regular season. The Rangers were 6-18 (8:36) in five-on-three situations (last – 3/21 at CBJ), and 0-6 (6:56) when four-on-three (last – 1/19 vs. WSH). Shorthanded goals allowed (6): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille); 12/20 vs. NYI (Clutterbuck, PS); 12/20 vs. NYI (Grabner); 3/2 vs. BOS (Campbell).
Penalty Killing: The Rangers were 1-1 (0:50) in Game 7 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are ninth in the NHL overall (34-41, 82.9%), and are seventh on the road (18-22, 81.8%) in the playoffs. New York ranked third in the NHL overall (198-232, 85.3%), and third on the road (109-127, 85.8%) in the regular season. The Rangers were 4-7 (6:27) in three-on-five situations (last – 3/7 at CAR), and 8-10 (8:06) when three-on-four (last – 3/24 vs. PHX). The Rangers were tied for third in the NHL in shorthanded goals with 10: 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin); 1/19 vs. WSH (Callahan); 3/5 vs. TOR (McDonagh); 3/5 vs. TOR (D. Moore); 3/7 at CAR (McDonagh); 3/30 at EDM (Nash); 3/30 at EDM (Zuccarello); 4/1 at VAN (St. Louis).
Four-on-Four: New York did not yield/tally a goal in two four-on-four situations (3:12) in Game 7 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts are -1 in 16 four-on-four situations in the playoffs (20:08), allowing a goal in Game 3 at PHI on 4/22 (Streit). The Rangers were -2 in 85 four-on-four situations (131:26), and even in one three-on-three situation (1:03) during the regular season. Four-on-four goals for (8): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin); 1/31 vs. NYI (Brassard); 1/31 vs. NYI (McDonagh); 3/7 at CAR (Nash); 3/24 vs. PHX (McDonagh). Four-on-four goals allowed (10): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS); 12/18 vs. PIT (Sutter); 12/27 at WSH (Fehr); 1/6 vs. CBJ (Atkinson); 3/5 vs. TOR (Bozak); 3/26 vs. PHI (Voracek); 4/12 at MTL (Gionta, PS).

NHL LEADERS – PLAYOFFS
The Rangers rank:
• 1st in goals against per game (2.14)
• 1st in blocked shots (245)
• 3rd in shots against per game (28.4)

• Henrik Lundqvist is tied for 1st in wins (eight), is 2nd in GAA (1.99) and is tied for 1st in SV% (.931)
• Rick Nash is 1st in shots on goal (52)
• Kevin Klein and Anton Stralman are tied for 1st in plus/minus rating (plus-seven)
• Dan Girardi is tied for 4th in blocked shots (35)

FINAL FOUR
The Rangers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in the last three seasons. Since the NHL expanded to a four-round playoff format prior to the 1974-75 season, this is the second time that the Blueshirts have advanced to the third round of the playoffs twice in a three-year span (1979-1981 – reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979, reached the Semifinals in 1981).

SEVENTH HEAVEN
The Rangers’ victory in Game 7 against Pittsburgh on Tuesday was their second victory in a Game 7 in the playoffs this year. New York has posted an 8-5 record in 13 Game 7s in franchise history, and has won eight of its last nine Game 7s, dating back to the Patrick Division Semifinals vs. New Jersey in 1992. The Blueshirts have played in a Game 7 in six of their last nine playoff series, including five of their last seven series.

KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist established two franchise records during the 2013-14 season, becoming the Rangers’ all-time wins leader with his 302nd career victory on Mar. 18 at Ottawa, and the team’s all-time shutouts leader with his 50th career shutout on Mar. 22 at New Jersey. Lundqvist set an NHL record with his fifth consecutive victory in a Game 7 on Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He has posted a 10-2 record, with a 1.32 GAA, a .957 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 12 games when the Rangers have faced elimination, and is 5-0 with a 0.80 GAA, a .973 SV%, and 1 SO in his last five Game 7s. The Rangers goaltender has started a franchise-record, 80 consecutive playoff games, dating back to Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. Lundqvist is the third goalie in NHL history to start 80 consecutive playoff games with one team (Martin Brodeur – New Jersey, Patrick Roy – Colorado).

FAST START/STRONG FINISH
The Rangers have posted a 7-2 record when scoring the first goal of the game in the playoffs. Including the regular season, New York has won 38 of 47 games when tallying the first goal this year. The Blueshirts are 6-0 when leading after the second period in the playoffs. The Rangers have won 34 out of 37 regular season and playoff games when leading after two periods this year.

BRASS MAN
Derick Brassard tied for the series-high with four goals and led the team with five points in the Metropolitan Division Finals. The Rangers forward tallied two game-winning goals in the series, including his first career playoff overtime goal in Game 1. Both of Brassard’s game-winning tallies were on the road. He is the first Ranger to record two GWG on the road in one playoff series since Adam Graves in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996 against Montreal. Brassard is tied for the team lead in goals (four) and is tied for fifth on the team in points (seven) in the playoffs.

DOING IT ALL
Mats Zuccarello ranks among the top five on the team in the following categories in the playoffs:

• 1st in takeaways (11)
• T-1st in assists (five)
• T-2nd in points (eight)
• T-2nd in PPA (two)
• T-3rd in PPP (two)
• T-3rd in hits (31)
• 4th in plus/minus rating (plus-five)
• T-4th in goals (three)
• 5th in blocked shots (19)

DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi is two games shy of passing Rod Gilbert for sole possession of fifth place on the Rangers’ all-time playoff games played list.

NYR ALL-TIME PLAYOFF GAMES PLAYED LIST
2. Don Maloney – 85
3. Ron Greschner – 84
4. Brian Leetch – 82
5. Rod Gilbert – 79
6. Dan Girardi – 78

INJURIES (10 Man-Game Lost – Playoffs):
• None

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
• None

Photo by Getty Images (Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle, Henri Richard, 1967).

 

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90 Comments

  1. Selanne, trusting no one, and eschewing direct deposit, flies home between games to pick up his check from the team offices.

  2. Very excited for today’s game. Grab the first one. Steal home ice..

    Very excited

  3. CraigWeather on

    I have a weird/bad feeling we’re gonna get lit up today. Lets just hope that feeling is gas…..

  4. Good morning, boneheads!

    Buy some Mylicon drops, Craig :-).
    Stay positive.

    I’ll driving during the game, then have a wedding to attend at 5. Watching after. Hey, *no texts*, *no updates*. Let’s see if I can till late without knowing the score. Fat chance, I know. But I’ll try.

  5. Matty"Rangersin5!!"Boy on

    GAME DAY ECF’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are we kidding…WOOHOO!!!!!!

    Don’t forget…that post and crossbar was Price’s BEST friend against a really good Boston team. Lady luck helped.

    No more!! We have the puck bounces in this series!!!!

    LGR???LGR!!!!

  6. Great Picture Carp.

    Hope the cleaner sheet of ice in Montreal keeps the puck on Nash’s tape for some clean shots.

  7. Sioux-per-man on

    Nash is overdue in the goal Department. His line wakes up today, and gets the game winning goal.

    Rangers have the better goalie and the better F, rangers win!

  8. Need the split in hell house. Glad Carp has his gray background again. How bout a goal from Nash, eh?

  9. Ratelle used more than a little dab. Thanks for the memories Carp! Montreal in the 70’s great players (great names Rejean Houle, Yvan Cournoyer etc…those bastards!

  10. iManny-O-War on

    It’s great that Carp’s gray background has returned for this series.

  11. Purple words on a grey background…….to be a woman and to be turned down. Maybe NY best song certainly in the top three:)

  12. iManny-O-War on

    @ScoutingTheRefs: Stanley Cup Playoff Referees for #Rangers #Canadiens Game 1 are Kozari and Jackson #MTL #NYR http://t.co/0SAORLhFte

    @ScoutingTheRefs Jackson/Kozari haven’t worked a single game together this year? Last game together was Devils/Rangers on April 27, 2013

    @ScoutingTheRefs: Referee Dave Jackson and linesman Pierre Racicot are both from Montreal – both working #Rangers #Canadiens http://t.co/hwffShh49B

  13. So if game one goes to overtime or 6 overtimes will it be on NBC? Or do I have to switch channels?

  14. Nbcsn at 4:30 I believe however I don’t think they move game in New York area until closer to horse race

  15. Carp

    Great photo. The bunting in the background shows it was a playoff game, so I am certain it was taken in either Game 3 or 4 in April of ’67.

    Nash breaks out in this series. Believe it.

  16. Gilbert….Ratelle…Pocket Richard……how big does the ice look in that pic? Clean boards. This is our time….stay thirsty!

  17. I think we can win another without Nash scoring. It’ll be glorious.

    Of course, I stand firm on my prediction of MON in 3.

    These clowns are going to get embarrassed big time.

  18. They can win the cup without nash scoring. this is a team game.

    There is just something about how things are playing out and about this series that makes me envision Nash getting it going.

    This will be his 15th playoff game of this season. 27th in the last year and half. Fresh series. game 1, no pressure.

    Playing in Montreal.
    Against a team that likes to play a style that will allow Rick to play to his strengths.

    Final Reason.

    He’s Rick f’ing Nash. He has all the tools to set this team on fire.

  19. I am still jet-lagged from Pacific Northwest trip …hopefully, it wears off by 1 PM this afternoon. LGR! Take it to Les Habitants en Montreale!

  20. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Apparently it’s entirely Stephen Walkom making the decisions on Ref’s for the playoffs.

  21. “Hank what do you think was the turning point in this series?”

    “Well, Carp didn’t have his gray background to start the series which I think probably killed the momentum of every guy in the room. But you know, when he got it back we started taking it a period at a time and saying “hey, why not us?”

  22. I dont like this. First Carps background then Manny picks a random number and it’s Prust’s. I think the ghost of Montreal are haunting this blog.

  23. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That was a total coincidence. I swear.

    I do absolutely Love Prust as a hockey player but I will hopefully next see him on the losing end of a handshake line. Mancrush ON HOLD

  24. Shouldn’t we be making more insensitive and disparaging remarks about French things today?

  25. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That’s a GREAT point, Booby.

    Down with the Eürøpänšì?š

  26. French canadien things

    Boreale rousse, doree, curvee, and Blanche

    Poutine

    Marche aux puces

    Ganger les rangers de. New York!!!!

  27. iDoodie Machetto on

    I’m in the same boat as a lot of you: watching on dvr, phone is turning off at 1 and not turning on until I’m up to real time. Stupid horses. Although watching Richards is a good lead in for horse racing.

  28. iDoodie Machetto on

    I gave my breakdown of the series a couple of days ago, but here it is again, briefly:

    0) Montreal: we suck there and against them. If this plays out like the regular season has for the past four years, this is going five, tops.

    1) watch for breakaways. Montreal killed Boston with these, we are susceptible, and lundqvist isn’t very good at stopping them.

    2) watch for Subban shooting like crazy. We give up the point shot a lot, and if we do that to him we are done like dinner.

    3) penalty kill: must be as good as it was in the 2nd round. If it’s like it was in the first round, we are through.

    4) fourth lines: montreal’s just significantly outplayed the Merlot Line, one of the best fourth lines in recent memory. Ours has been awesome, but they are going to have to be at their absolute best.

    5) struggling snipers: Whoever can get their snipers going will have a HUGE advantage.

  29. Jack Klompus on

    As much as I’m unsure about the make up of this team today and what has gone on since the eastern final 2 years ago, I am more than ready to get this series underway. Leetch jersey is on, off to OTB, and then LGR!!

  30. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Lucic – “I will strangle you. Cut every limb off. I will throw out if an airplane. I will smash your head with a baseball bat, then with a crowbar. I will bury you, dig you up, and kill you some more. I will murder you until your dead and then kill you even more. There will be no chance for you. I’m then going destroy your family. I will kill your neighbors. I will chop the heads off every friend you’re ever had”

  31. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    I hope the Rangers have some good psych up music blasting in their noise canceling headphones. I don’t need them hearing this Montreal crowd.

  32. I Doodie, Any positives from a Rangers point of view? You seem to be knowledgeable about hockey But negative about our chances. In retrospect, a typical Rangers fan like me. However, I like our chances this time. Without playing a perfect game what do you see as our chances?

  33. Wiese – “on the handshake line Marchand flared his nostrils directly at me and Chara was sweating profusely”

  34. Good afternoon all! I’m sick as can be but ready to go. Don’t know how I’ll yell with laryngitis, but I’ll do my best. LGR!!!!!!

  35. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Just completed my pre-game ritual. Purchased some single-malt (Balvenie 12 *Double Wood* in honor of Boobie). Stopped by the Pizza shop. Now I’m home.

    86:4

  36. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Lucic – “I will bash your brains in. I will rip your fingers and toes off and eat them as you watch. I’ll rip every limb off your body. I’ll gouge your eyeballs out and play marbles with them. I’ll punch you in the face until it evaporates. I’ll burn your house down. I’ll drown you. I’ll take a chainsaw and carve you into atomic size bits. I’ll never stop killing you”

  37. Last 3 games, I didn’t blog on the Go Time thread.

    Rangers 3-0

    See you guys and gals after the game!

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