Game 4: Canadiens at Rangers tonight (8 p.m.) … pre-game notes


Happy anniversary. Twenty years ago tonight, Mark Messier delivered three goals and an assist in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the Devils, after his “guarantee” of victory. (Photo by the Associated Press).

Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:

Sunday, May 25, 8:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 10-7 (2-1)*
Canadiens: 9-5 (1-2)*
* Record in the playoffs (record in the series)
The Rangers will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden (8:00 p.m. ET — TV: NBC Sports Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. The Blueshirts lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one, following the Canadiens’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 3 on Thursday at MSG. New York enters the contest with a 223-240-8 record all-time in 471 playoff contests (124-93-2 at home; 99-147-6 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.
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 27-35-2 in 64 playoff contests against the Canadiens following Game 3. 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 20-17-4 at home during the regular season (4-3 in the playoffs); Montreal was 23-15-3 on the road (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

• 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 0-2 (4:00) in Game 3 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are ninth in the NHL overall (10-67, 14.9%), and are 14th at home (3-31, 9.7%) 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 four of their last six games (7-23; 30.4% over the span). New York ranked 15th in the NHL overall (48-264, 18.2%), and 24th at home (20-132, 15.2%) during the regular season.
• Penalty Killing: The Rangers were 2-2 (4:00) in Game 3 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are third in the NHL overall (43-50, 86.0%), and are tied for seventh at home (18-21, 85.7%) in the playoffs. The Rangers have not allowed a PPG in the last eight games (22 times shorthanded), and are 30-31 (96.8%) in their last 11 games. The last time the Blueshirts didn’t allow a power play goal in at least eight consecutive playoff games was a 10-game stretch in 1940. New York ranked third in the NHL overall (198-232, 85.3%), and sixth at home (89-105, 84.8%) in the regular season.
• Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situations in Game 3 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are -1 in 19 four-on-four situations in the playoffs (24:26), 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.
Alain Vigneault is the fifth head coach in Rangers history to win at least 10 playoff games in one year (Emile Francis – 10 in 1971-72; Fred Shero – 11 in 1978-79; Mike Keenan – 16 in 1993-94; John Tortorella – 10 in 2011-12). Vigneault is the only NHL head coach to win at least 10 playoff games in a year with two different teams over the last four seasons (15 playoff wins with Vancouver in 2010-11).
New York has allowed two goals or fewer in 12 out of 17 playoff games this year, including five of the last six games. The Rangers allowed two goals or fewer in five consecutive games from Game 5 of the Metropolitan Division Finals on May 9 at Pittsburgh to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 19 at Montreal. The stretch was the first time the Blueshirts allowed two goals or fewer in at least five straight playoff games since a seven-game stretch from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 23, 1997 vs. Florida to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 11, 1997 at New Jersey. The Blueshirts rank first in the NHL in goals against per game (2.12) in the playoffs.
Ryan McDonagh leads all players with six points (two goals, four assists) in the Eastern Conference Finals. He is the first Rangers defenseman to tally six points in a two-game span in the playoffs since Brian Leetch in 1995, and the first Ranger to record six points in the first two games of a playoff series since Bernie Nicholls in the Patrick Division Finals in 1990 against Washington. McDonagh registered four points (one goal, three assists) in Game 1 on May 17, 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 (Leetch – twice, Brad Park, and Dave Maloney).
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. The Rangers goalie set an NHL record with his fifth consecutive win in a Game 7 on May 13 against Pittsburgh. Lundqvist has posted a 0.80 GAA, a .973 SV%, and one shutout in his last five Game 7s. Lundqvist is also 5-1 with a 1.50 GAA and a .953 SV% in his last six games. The Rangers goalie won his 40th career playoff game on May 19, becoming the ninth goalie in NHL history to win at least 300 regular season games and 40 playoff games with one team. Lundqvist has started a franchise-record, 83 consecutive playoff games, dating back to Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. He is the third goalie in NHL history to start 80 consecutive playoff games with one team (Martin Brodeur – New Jersey, Patrick Roy – Colorado). Lundqvist leads the NHL in wins (10) and SV% (.931), and is tied for first in the NHL in GAA (1.99) in the playoffs this year.

1. Mike Richter – 41
2. Henrik Lundqvist – 40
3. Ed Giacomin – 29

Dan Girardi leads the NHL in blocked shots (47) and ranks fourth in the league in hits (55) in the playoffs. The Rangers defenseman skated in his 81st career playoff contest in Game 3 on Thursday. Here is where Girardi ranks on the team’s all-time playoff games played list:

2. Don Maloney – 85
3. Ron Greschner – 84
4. Brian Leetch – 82
5. Dan Girardi – 81

The Rangers tallied seven goals in Game 1 against Montreal on May 17, 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 had 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.
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 the Rangers have advanced to the third round of the playoffs twice in a three-year span (1979-1981 – reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979 and the Semifinals in 1981).
INJURIES (12 Man-Games Lost – Playoffs):
• Derek Stepan – (Fractured Jaw on 5/22)
• None

Twitter: @RangersReport.


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  1. What a “guarantee”, what a game. Hope the old captain’s magic rubs off tonight. LGR!!!

  2. We have the product, don’t need no guarantee!;>)) LGR! Duh, er , Deux….

  3. When we came into this series, I had no hatred for the Habs. In the first two series, there was a deep history of hatred that I felt.

    Well, now I think I hate this Canadiens team more than the Flyers or Penguins. The comments coming from the coach and the players have been BUSH LEAGUE. They knocked out our #1 and #2 centers with late and dirty hits.

    The BEST payback will be VICTORY!!!

    Is it 8pm yet?


  4. Norm Merton on

    Tonight, if the focus is on hockey, the Rangers have a great chance. If the focus is on what the Canadiens (and most Boneheads) want it to be, it’s even odds. Montreal got into the Bruins’ heads and beat a better team, albeit with Price. Will be interesting to see if they succeed with that again, without him.

  5. Admiral Akbar on


    Agree 100%

    Le Haves pulling same bush league garbage that got ’em past Bruins…

    They need to ignore PeeKay SlooFoot, Judas Prusty, leprechaun Gallagher, et al and try to stick to ice hockey. If they do, no doubt Rangers win.

  6. Trust Les Hatitants == Trust Used Car Salesmen
    If character counts, we trounce them in remainder of games

  7. If Therrien feels he is still dealing with a Torts team? I think Torts would have jumped onto the Canadiens’ bench if he were still around, and had it out with MT. AV is a cut above them both in terms of his people skills and a cut above MT in terms of character. Easy to root from a coach like Vigneault

  8. Les Haves will be crowing about this on the golf course next week…like that parody in the Twitter feed…Les Habitants Tour de Golf Masters 2014

  9. Off to hunt for some bee hives in preparation for watching the Rangers rout the Canadiens at 8 PM

  10. Anybody have some guesses on who Therrien has targeted tonight?

    Hey Carp… how about a pre-game poll on such like you do for stars of the game?

    That’ll give us something to do while waiting for 8!

  11. Be at flying puck by 5:30 if anyone interested whose going. 30th and 7th ave.

    More pressure on rangers who lead then habs tonight.

  12. Now Messier to the empty net DO YOU BELIEVE IT? He said we will win game 6 he has just picked up the hat trick!

  13. iManny-O-War on

    I’m really Confused about lines tonight. I don’t envy Vigneault. You can’t really break up 36-16-67 and you can’t possibly play 19 with 20 and 61. That’s a defensive nightmare. So the only option is to move 28 to the 1st line and play 12 on the 4th with 22 at Center!?

    The fear is really setting in here.

  14. No reason to have fear.

    Terror is more like it.

    But those lines make sense. Though it seems Step is still unlikely to go, might there be a chance he’ll play tonight?

  15. Manny-O-War on

    There is definitely a chance that Vigneault rose above the garbage that Mr. Spectrum Therrien has been spewing and is just having some fun with him (Daryl Suter style).

    I just don’t know who you play on the first line.

    Unless you dress 7 D and double shift someone…

  16. James @ 8:27……

    Gary Thorne nailed that call. One of my favorite Hockey Broadcast moments.

    Even Peter McNab explaining it as a “signature game” and career defining moment for Messier still resonates with me today.

    And they were the Devil announcers on Sportschannel. Game was blacked out on MSG.

    I still get emotionally when I here it.

    Game 6 is like the Godfather and Goodfellas for me. If I’m channel surfing and I happen to come upon it, I can never leave it, even though I’ve seen it so many times.

  17. Dom Moore will carry any load you give him, plus probably win a few more drawers.

  18. Boiler @ 8:12

    Thorazine has already played his hand to the media yesterday…..

    The Bounty is back on Brassard.

  19. Manny-O-War on

    LMGO at Thorazine. Good one. I like making jokes about him being “on the spectrum” (even though it’s tasteless) because of the way he talks.


  20. Nary a word mentioned about Subban’s slew foot during game 3.

    They Happen so often, they’re now expected and tacitly allowed.

  21. Czechthemout!!! on

    I think you roll the dice and play JT Miller at center with CK and Nash. Miller has actually played his best hockey at center and was drafted as a center. I would rather have one line off a bit defensively than two or three. Fast brings nothing to the table in the NHL. He is not fast and his offensive game does not exist at this level. Besides, if you score enough goals on a kid who’s play in game 3 was the most overrated I have seen from a playoff goalie, it wont matter if JT Miller’s defensive game is so so.

  22. Keep Calm and Win It for Stepan.

    And for our French Canadian friends;

    Gardez le calme et gagner pour Stepan

  23. Papa… Thorazine might switch up targets last minute, due to NHL being on alert.

    Wait scratch that NHL on alert for Montreal “shenanigans” is not happening.

  24. If Stepan’s out, I agree Czech, start the game by inserting Miller between The Kreider and Nash. Keep the other 3 lines in-tact.

    Makes sense. Adjust if necessary during the game.

    I don’t like Richards, The Kreider and Nash together…..not enough D. They’ll get toasted by the Pacoretty line.

    BTW, AV should keep away from the match of Nash line against Pacioretty line.

  25. Focus on defense..offense..and leave the stupidity to the Habs and the refs…stay thirsty, my friends…surprised they didnt note that should Stepan play they know where he is injured…nice talk from a genius whose team represents a city about to burn….unless they find a way to win this series..Sacre bleu!..they’ll burn it down anyway! Class act!

  26. Just drop the puck already.

    D Moore with Nash, THE gives that line more D. Miller with Boyle on the fourth gives that line D responsibility. I don’t know, just win, baby!

  27. Said PK Stubban…the team was thinking of trading for I was just kicking his you would do a car….

  28. And what is with this skating windup that Stubban does…does he think he is the Roadrunner? Acme dynamite please! I know Wile E Coyote can take this guy out..roadrunner speed..but prust for brains!

  29. Not sure if league rules / regs would allow this (or if he would go for this). But could The Captain be hired as an additional bench coach for tonight with one responsibility; stare directly at Thorazine and give a few “I’m watching you” gestures….

    But seriously, what a “reckless” comment to make that “we know where he’s injured”….

    At what point does the league step in?

  30. How’s Subbans windup working on The Kreider? He was supposed to match the speed of The, but leaves a gap that allows The to set up plays. Can “The” be a measure of speed like MPH?

  31. Rangerzjmb, it can be, but to make sure we’re not “biased” against our good friends from Quebec it should be in Km/h as well…

  32. True Blue

    To quote the King, “Right now I have no friends in Montreal”

  33. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Michelle Thorazine will need extra meds to wake up tomorrow after the rangers crush les habs tonight.

    Rangers 8
    Habs 0

    GWG Brassard

  34. I was just kidding of course. But, our friends up there who do a lot of talking and a lot of it about how everything is biased against them- I just wanted to make sure they understood your comment.

    As a side note, I was loving the top banner ad on the TSN site for Subway sandwiches in French; “Une explosion de gout”. Yes, I know this means an explosion of flavor…..but, in my mind, no matter the language, you don’t want the word “gout” anywhere near a food ad….

  35. Rangers have been through this before during the Philly series. Montreal does it a lot more in the media though, and MT is a clown of a coach. I honestly haven’t seen a coach that childish in watching hockey for almost 30 years. Even Torts wouldn’t stoop to that level of misinformation. It’s embarrassing to the game and that organization. I would say they are less physical then the Flyers and it’s more of a words game. If the Rangers just stick to the game and don’t get caught up in the crowd. Yea I said it because the crowd gets all down on little things. I think it’s a guaranteed win if they do that.

  36. If it gets beyond a 4 goal difference tonight~ AV will be composed, Michelle might pull a gun & start shooting.

    Ironic how in the ’60s draft dodgers went to the passivist country to the north.

  37. Today I’m going to roast on the beach.

    Tonight I’m going to toast sweet victory.

    Thorazine gets flushed tonight.

    Book It!

  38. iManny-O-War on

    @DarrenDreger: Stepan was released from hospital last night and is not on the ice for the morning skate.

  39. Time for The Kreider to “accidentally on purpose” bounce an hard errant clear off Thorazines Adam’s apple.

  40. In ’66 or’67 at the old MSG, Vic Hadfield returned from missing quite a few games with a neck injury against Montreal. It was either Hodge or Vachon (can’t remember) but Vic took a slapshot the netminder tried to glove it and the puck went in the net and took the glove completely off the goalies hand. Never saw it before or since but I’d love to see something like that tonight. Something extra to rub it in to the Montreal players, media and fans.

  41. Time for someone to throw a stealth Messier elbow with no penalty call, and I like subban as the target. His jaw needs breaking it moves to much.

  42. ThisYearsModel on

    Game day finally here. Hope Stepan is not feeling too bad today. How valuable is Dom Moore? In addition to playing lights out on the 4th line and PK, he moves up to replace the injured centers.

  43. Manny, goes without saying.

    Victory is the sweetest revenge.

    Victory with class is even sweeter than victory.

  44. Robby Bonfire on

    How great it would be if we win tonight, and then go back and clean them out in their own back yard, in front of their own spoiled-brat fans. Early Christmas for me, if it happens. And if it does happen, I’m the Rangers coach I tell my boys, NO handshakes after the fact. And screw the fine from the league office for doing it.

    Who shakes hands with Prust and company, as though no bad blood went down? Not me. It’s a phony ritual, at best.

  45. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Papa @8:59am, DITTO!!! Just ditto!!

    Can never turn it off and never not get teary eyed. How amazing it was to see every game in that series in person, but not game 7 (wife REFUSED to let me out of plans to go to Vermont with another couple that night).

    Messier, Leetch, Kovalev, Gravey, Rickey. Wow. Just wow. LIke it was yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Matty, how’s this for irony……..The only game I went to was Game 7. Well, at least between us we have a full set!

  47. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Papa, complete set.

    That must have been a great one to be there live!

    I was up in hotel in vermont. Drove like crazy to get in room before game time. Get there and had to special order cable to my room.

    My wife and the other couple went to a nice, lengthy dinner (“Go Honey, I’ll be fine”).

    I started game with tie on, neat hair. They come back, game is in OT, and I have tie off, shirt buttoned open, pacing, hair a mess!!!! Empty beer bottles on counter and floor.

    The 3 of them were all over me. Lucky there was no internet back then. Would have been YouTube’d!!

  48. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Tonight, in a way, reminds me of game 5 Vancouver series. We need not let that happen. (Post headline “Garden Party”).

    We need to take care of business. Not be distracted. We are diminished without Step. Gotta stay focused. We can do this and we need to tonight!!!!

    There are many Montreal fans that are pleased with replacing Prust. Aside from his shenanigans, he offers little. His replacement could be more valuable.

  49. Brandon Prust + Michel Therein = complete set.

    Left cheek + Right Cheek = complete assen.

  50. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Carpy, where will you be tonight? May have time to come up and introduce unless you are too busy. I’m fine with that, too.

  51. No Robbie, don’t stoop to their level.

    If I were to recommend any BS in the handshake line it would be all players don’t shake Therriens hand, all else normal.

  52. TheMessiah11 on

    Guys I need advice. What jersey should I wear to the game today. I have my stadium series Nash jersey which I am 5-0 lifetime in. I have an authentic Messier 94 jersey with the stanley cup patch on it ( for the anniversary ) and I have a customized “TheMessiah” jersey in home blue. I don’t know what to wear to the game tonight. HELP!

  53. Hal Gill ?@Skillsy75 55m

    “@DarrenDreger: Stepan was released from hospital last night and is not on the ice for the morning skate.” #onlyhockey

    Ryan Whitney ?@ryanwhitney6 17m

    The NYR MTL series after 2 games looked like a bust…Now we have suspensions, injuries, interesting press conferences and some great hockey

  54. Five games in seven nights to two games in six. This schedule is making thirsty.

  55. Carp, my memory is getting fried, like my skin in the sun so, please correct me if I’m wrong

    Years back, I don’t seem to remember Coaches getting on the end of the players handshake line. I remember the winning Coach would go to the losing teams bench and the coaching staffs would shake, but I don’t recall them exchanging with the players?


  56. Themessiah11 @ 11:31…….

    I would wear the Undefeated Nash Jersey and bring along the other two just in case.

  57. If they really wanted to scout secretly. They wouldn’t be sitting right there out in the open. Looks like the Rangers staff playing some mind games back to lady Michelle.

  58. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Yes, Carpy, unless get hit with traffic on way in, expecting to be there for warmups.

  59. Yes, I agree, Papa. Most times in the past that I recall, coaches did their thing at the benches and left the handshake line for the players.

    Matty, drop me a note in the comments, or an email, when you arrive and I can meet you for warmups … hopefully.

  60. Pro Hockey is becoming increasingly schizophrenic. The Buttmans et al. wax poetic about the nobility and integrity of the game, yet know full well that all the growing trash talk and on-ice psychopathy sells expensive tickets and builds TV revenue. Ali saved boxing in his day, and the Nastases, Connors, McEnroes, etc. enticed people who know nothing about tennis tuning in. Bread and circuses. The Carcillo ten-game thing is a sham in order to to hide it all under a phony cloak of propriety and he is the mendaciously and hypocritically targeted scapegoat.

  61. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    BTW, great article about all the ‘foreplay’ going on in this series.

    Two things:
    1. I’d like to see Gallagher pasted to the boards early and often. Maybe he can use a straw for a while like the ‘maybe not so injured, yapping Stepan’. Moron.
    2. I hope our guys can channel the focus where it needs to be. As they have done over and over again. Play the game. Beat these whiners. Best way to get back at Prust, who should no longer be a friend of any of the guys on this team. My answer to his text to Step just contains two capitalized letters: “F Y”.

    LGR!!! LGR!!!

  62. Norm Merton on

    Thank God this year the Rangers don’t play Bonehead hockey, much as the Canadiens are trying to goad them into it. This team wins with talent, speed, goaltending and a grown-up coach.

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