Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:
NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Tuesday, May 27, 8:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre – Montreal, QC
Rangers: 11-7 (3-1)*
Canadiens: 9-6 (1-3)*
* 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 5 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. The Blueshirts lead the best-of-seven series, three games to one, following their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 4 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. New York enters the contest with a 224-240-8 record all-time in 472 playoff contests (125-93-2 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.
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 28-35-2 in 65 playoff contests against the Canadiens following Game 4. 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 (6-3 in the playoffs); Montreal was 23-13-5 at home (4-3 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 0-3 (5:05) in Game 4 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are tied for ninth in the NHL overall (10-70, 14.3%), and are sixth on the road (7-36, 19.4%) in the playoffs. They have allowed two shorthanded goals in the playoffs: 5/7 vs. PIT (Sutter); 5/17 at MTL (Eller). New York ranked 15th in the NHL overall (48-264, 18.2%), and seventh on the road (28-132, 21.2%) in the regular season.
• Penalty Killing: The Rangers were 7-8 (14:33), and tallied a shorthanded goal (Carl Hagelin) in Game 4 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are third in the NHL overall (50-58, 86.2%), and are fourth on the road (25-29, 86.2%) in the playoffs. The Rangers are 37-39 (94.9%) in their last 12 games. The Rangers’ shorthanded goal was their first in the playoffs since Apr. 9, 2008 at New Jersey (Ryan Callahan) and their first at home in the playoffs since May 23, 1997 vs. Philadelphia (Esa Tikkanen). 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.
• Four-on-Four: New York did not yield/tally a goal in three four-on-four situations (2:55) in Game 4 vs. Montreal. The Blueshirts are -1 in 22 four-on-four situations in the playoffs (27:21), 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.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
Martin St. Louis tallied the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 4 on Sunday. The tally was St. Louis’ fourth career overtime goal in the playoffs, and his first since Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals on June 5, 2004 at Calgary, when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers forward extended his point streak to six games (four goals, three assists), tying a playoff career-high. St. Louis has tallied a series-best, three goals in the Eastern Conference Finals, and is tied for the team lead in goals (six) and leads the team in points (13) in the playoffs.
The Rangers have posted a 12-1 series record in 13 all-time best-of-seven playoff series in which they led three games to one after Game 4.
The Blueshirts have won five consecutive road playoff games against the Canadiens, dating back to the Rangers’ first playoff contest at Bell Centre, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, on Apr. 21, 1996. The Rangers are the second team in NHL history to win five straight playoff games in Montreal (Carolina; May 9, 2002 – May 2, 2006).
New York has won four consecutive playoff games on the road, dating back to dating back to Game 5 of the Metropolitan Division Finals on May 9 at Pittsburgh. It is the first time the Rangers have won at least four straight playoff games on the road since a franchise-record, five-game streak from Game 5 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals on May 9, 1972 against Boston to Game 1 of the Semifinals on Apr. 12, 1973 against Chicago.
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 recorded his 41st career playoff win in Game 4 vs. Montreal on Sunday, tying Mike Richter for first on the team’s all-time playoff wins list. Lundqvist is the ninth goalie in NHL history to win at least 300 regular season games and 40 playoff games with one team. The Rangers goaltender has started a franchise-record, 84 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 (11), GAA (1.98), and SV% (.931) in the playoffs, and has allowed two goals or fewer in 14 of 18 playoff games this year.
DAN’S THE MAN
Dan Girardi leads the NHL in blocked shots (48) and is tied for third in the league in hits (58) in the playoffs. Girardi enters the contest tied for fourth on the team’s all-time playoff games played list:
NYR ALL-TIME PLAYOFF GAMES PLAYED LIST
2. Don Maloney – 85
3. Ron Greschner – 84
T-4. Dan Girardi – 82
T-4. Brian Leetch – 82
Ryan McDonagh leads all players in assists (five) and points (seven) in the Eastern Conference Finals. He registered four points (one goal, three assists) in Game 1 at Montreal 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 (Brian Leetch – twice, Brad Park, and Dave Maloney).
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. 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 in 1974-75, this is the second time the Rangers have advanced to the third round twice in a three-year span (1979-1981 – reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979 and the Semifinals in 1981).
INJURIES (13 Man-Games Lost – Playoffs):
• Derek Stepan- (Fractured Jaw on 5/22) – 1
Photo by Getty Images.