Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Monday, May 19, 8:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre – Montreal, QC
Rangers: 9-6 (1-0)*
Canadiens: 8-4 (0-1)*
* Record in the playoffs (record in the series)
The Rangers will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. The Blueshirts lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0, following their 7-2 victory in Game 1 on Saturday at Bell Centre. New York enters the contest with a 222-239-8 record all-time in 469 playoff contests (124-92-2 at home; 98-147-6 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 26-34-2 in 62 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. The Rangers have won five consecutive playoff games against the Canadiens, including four straight in Montreal.
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 (5-3 in the playoffs); Montreal was 23-13-5 at home (4-2 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
• Power Play: The Rangers were 3-7 (10:47) in Game 1 at Montreal. The Blueshirts are ninth in the NHL overall (9-62, 14.5%), and are tied for sixth on the road (6-33, 18.2%) in the playoffs. They have allowed two shorthanded goals in the playoffs: 5/7 vs. PIT (Sutter); 5/17 at MTL (Eller). The Rangers have tallied a PPG in three of their last four games (6-18; 33.3% over the span). 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 3-3 (5:21) in Game 1 at Montreal. The Blueshirts are eighth in the NHL overall (37-44, 84.1%), and are seventh on the road (21-25, 84.0%) in the playoffs. The Rangers have not allowed a PPG in the last six games (16 times shorthanded), and are 24-25 (96.0%) in their last nine games. 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 skate in a four-on-four situation in Game 1 at Montreal. 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 first among teams still in the playoffs in:
• Goals Against Per Game (2.13)
• Blocked Shots (268)
• Shots Against Per Game (27.9)
• Henrik Lundqvist is 1st in wins (nine), is tied for 2nd in GAA (1.99) and is 2nd in SV% (.929)
• Rick Nash is 1st in shots on goal (54)
• Kevin Klein is tied for 1st in plus/minus rating (plus-eight)
• Dan Girardi is tied for 1st in blocked shots (40)
The Rangers tallied seven goals in their Game 1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday, as seven different players recorded a goal. It was the first time the Blueshirts tallied seven goals in a playoff game since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 17, 2007 vs. Atlanta, and the first time they tallied at least seven goals in a playoff game on the road since they recorded eight in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on May 8, 1995 at Quebec. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time seven different Rangers tallied a goal in a playoff game since Game 3 of the Patrick Division Semifinals vs. Philadelphia on Apr. 9, 1983.
Ryan McDonagh registered four points (one goal, three assists) in Game 1 on Saturday, tying a team-record for the most points by a defenseman in a playoff game. It was the fifth time a Blueshirts defenseman had recorded four points in a playoff game (Brian Leetch – twice, Brad Park, and Dave Maloney). McDonagh leads all Rangers defensemen in goals (two) and points (seven) in the playoffs.
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 May 13 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. The Rangers goaltender has started a franchise-record, 81 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).
NYR GOALIES ALL-TIME PLAYOFF WINS
1. Mike Richter – 41
2. Henrik Lundqvist – 39
3. Ed Giacomin – 29
FAST START/STRONG FINISH
The Rangers have posted an 8-2 record when scoring the first goal of the game in the playoffs. Including the regular season, New York has won 39 of 48 games when tallying the first goal this year. The Blueshirts are 7-0 when leading after the second period in the playoffs. The Rangers have won 35 out of 38 regular season and playoff games when leading after two periods this year.
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).
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi is one game 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
T-5. Dan Girardi – 79
T-5. Rod Gilbert – 79
INJURIES (10 Man-Game Lost – Playoffs):
Photos by Getty Images.