Youse know what’s at stake. Been 20 years. And as you know, it’s the anniversary of the last time the Rangers had this opportunity — Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!
Two teams have come back from 3-1 already this spring — the Rangers vs. Pittsburgh last round and Los Angeles (which was down 3-0 to San Jose) in the first round. The Rangers have blown a 3-1 lead once — to Washington in 2009, and the Habs last wiped out a 3-1 deficit in 2010.
It looks as if Derek Stepan will return wearing plastic jaw protection, after having his jaw broken Thursday and undergoing surgery Friday, having had his face “interfered” by Brandon Prust. He took part in the morning skate and skated in warmups.
Oddly, in four games in this series, four players have been injured on plays where no penalty was called. Tonight it’s J.T. Miller who sits out, not even on the trip, after an apparent shoulder injury after being cross-checked — no penalty — into the post by Andrei Markov in Game 4.
New game, new rulebook.
If Stepan can’t go, it would likely be Jesper Fast in his place. We may not know for sure until minutes before gametime, though the 7:30 warmup will be a decent indicator.
The Habs’ Carey Price skated with equipment this morning, but coach Michel Therrien has ruled him out of the series, again. Wouldn’t matter. He wouldn’t be any better than rookie goalie Dustin Tokarski has been.
The Rangers are 6-3 on the road in these playoffs, with four straight wins, including both games in Montreal. They won the last three playoff games in Montreal in ’96 … so it’s kind of a spread-out five-game winning streak there.
We’re hearing the Stanley Cup final will start next Wednesday in either Los Angeles or Chicago. Speaking of which, Bovada’s latest Cup odds (which will change once teams are definite): LA 10/11, NYR 7/5, Chicago 8/1, Montreal 18/1.
After the game, vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.
Also, during the playoffs, follow Josh Thomson, @jthomson22.