When these two teams met in the playoffs in 2014 - the Rangers won that series 4-2 - NY won two of three games at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens are looking to a avenge a six-game loss in the first round to NY in 2014, a series in which Carey Price was injured in the opening game on a hit from Chris Kreider. We had some chances in the first and came out of it down 1-0 when you should have been up. The 35-year old is coming off of his worst season with the Rangers.
Offensive depth certainly backed up Fleury's solid night between the pipes too, as everyone's favorite Phil Kessel got the eventual game victor.
The New York Rangers went into Game 1 as underdogs.
Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant. "We played well enough to win". But to his credit, Lundqvist dialed up a retro performance in the series opener.
Trailing 1-0 and without a shot since the first period, the Bruins had two quick ones and Vatrano beat Anderson from the high slot on the second to tie it at 4:55 of the third.
Montreal twice fell into a two-game deficit before NY ultimately eliminated them in Game 6.
Two of the NHL's Original Six will renew their rivalry Wednesday night when the Rangers travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Meanwhile, Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist has struggled to find consistency against the Canadiens, posting a collective 14-17-3 against the team in all regular season matchups.
On Wednesday, however, Lundqvist showed the hockey world that he's not done quite yet.
The long, winding regular season is finally over. The biggest issue in their collective game was an inability to compete for a complete 60 minutes each game. It's clearly the type of hockey that players like Ott and Martinsen were brought in for.
These teams have met twice before in the postseason, with the Hawks winning both series.
There was passion and hunger in the Rangers game. NY is also entering the playoffs without one of its best postseason performers in Derick Brassard who scored 18 goals in 59 playoff games the last four seasons.
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The one-on-one battle all night between New York's Mats Zuccarello and Montreal's Brendan Gallagher? Uplifting for their respective teams.
In all, NY has speed and several players in the lineup who can score. By my eyes, that seems about right.
You simply can't lose a playoff game when fourth-liner Tanner Glass scores a clutch goal, right? That means special units must be at their peak form.
"We didn't put out there that Hank is going to have a hard time here", NY coach Alain Vigneault said.
Yet Glass, who is immensely popular for his professionalism, effort, and leadership within the Rangers locker room, continued to ignore the fans ire, and played a strong north-south game with linemates Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast.
Montreal pulled Price late in the third, but Michael Grabner settled the issue with an empty-net goal with 1:10 left to play. And that agreement goes back to the 2014 Eastern Conference final between these two clubs, when then-Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien threw some of Vigneault's assistants out of a practice, citing an ambiguous "gentleman's agreement".
The first rule in the coaching handbook for the Stanley Cup playoffs is to never tip your hand.
Tuesday: at NY, 7 p.m. The team has great depth which gives them four effective lines to rotate through the game with some reliable players off the ice.
The Sharks claim Logan Couture, wearing a cage to protect a facial injury, will play in Game 1 while Joe Thornton, having wrenched his leg late in the season, could play as well.
They all were tone-setters, and not just on the goal.
But as we've mentioned before, the playoffs are a whole new season.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Bell Centre.