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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 16th (All times Eastern)
New York Rangers (9-9-0) at Montreal Canadiens (10-8-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers have put together a solid string of games since the last time they faced the Montreal Canadiens.
The Rangers hope that momentum can bring them some success in this matchup as they try and avoid a fifth straight loss to the hosting Canadiens.
New York has been shut out in each of its last three games versus Montreal, including a 2-0 defeat in its home opener back on Oct. 28. The Rangers have lost 11 of the past 14 encounters overall and eight in a row in Montreal since a shootout victory there on March 17, 2009.
Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in the home loss to the Canadiens, while Peter Budaj stopped all 27 shots he faced for Montreal. Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk had the Habs' goals.
With New York set to host the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, head coach Alain Vigneault will give rookie Cam Talbot the start tonight versus the Canadiens. The Ontario native is 3-1-0 with a 1.97 goals against average and .933 save percentage in four starts on the season.
The Rangers have won six of eight since that loss to the Habs, but did have a three-game win streak snapped with a 3-2 setback to the visiting New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
Marc Staal and Dan Girardi scored for the Rangers, with Chris Kreider assisting on both tallies. Lundqvist allowed three goals on 28 shots in defeat.
"We came up short," Vigneault said. "I thought we did a lot of the right things, but obviously we came up a little short tonight."
Vigneault is expected to have center Dominic Moore in the lineup tonight after he missed the past seven games with a strained oblique.
Montreal returns home following last night's 3-2 shootout road victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. David Desharnais, a recent healthy scratch who has yet to score a goal this season, had the only shootout tally and Budaj made 23 saves before turning aside all three skaters he faced in the tiebreaker.
Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller had the goals for Montreal, which rallied from a two-goal deficit to post just its second win in November (2-3-2). The Habs do have points in three straight (2-0-1).
"I thought we deserved to win," said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. "We work hard, even if we're down two goals, we didn't panic."
Forward Brendan Gallagher missed the game with the flu, leaving his status for tonight in doubt as well, though forward Brandon Prust returned to action after having missed the last 11 games with a shoulder ailment.
Budaj improved to 3-1-0 with a 1.48 GAA this season, though he will likely give way to No. 1 netminder Carey Price tonight.
Price has been solid in his career versus the Rangers, going 7-4-1 with a 2.33 GAA and four shutouts in 13 games.
11/16 10:31:12 ET