(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Rangers hope to post only their second
winning streak of the season on Sunday night as they welcome the Montreal
Canadiens to Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers have been out of action since snapping a three-game slide (0-1-2)
with Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers. They were
scheduled to visit the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, but that game was postponed
due to inclement weather and rescheduled for Feb. 20.
New York is just 3-3-4 in November and has not won consecutive games since a
three-game winning streak from Oct. 16-21.
Backup Cam Talbot helped New York snap its recent skid as he made 31 saves
versus the Flyers for his first victory of the season and fourth career
shutout. Kevin Klein and Rick Nash had the goals.
“I think everybody wanted the puck tonight,” New York’s Martin St. Louis said.
“Everybody wanted to be part of the solution and it reflected on the way we
played. Tonight was one of those nights where everyone really wanted to make a
play and wanted to have an impact on the game.”
Friday’s postponed game should leave the Rangers and No. 1 goaltender Henrik
Lundqvist rested. Lundqvist is 13-12-2 with a 2.86 goals against average and
.897 save percentage in his career versus the Habs.
That includes a loss in Montreal on Oct. 25, with Lundqvist making 26 saves to
Carey Price’s 34 stops for the Canadiens.
That contest marked the first meeting between the teams since New York
defeated Montreal in six games during last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
Price suffered a knee injury in Game 1 and missed the rest of the series.
His effort in the last meeting gave Montreal a victory in six of seven and 13
of the last 17 regular-season encounters with the Rangers. The Habs have won
two straight in New York.
Price, though, will get a rest tonight after making 33 saves in last night’s
2-0 win over Boston. He picked up his second shutout of the season and 27th of
Backup Dustin Tokarski will start in his place. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.79 GAA
and .937 save percentage in five games (4 starts) this season and will make
his first career start versus the Rangers. Tokarski did allow three goals on
11 shots over 24 minutes of a previous relief appearance against them.
Montreal opened a stretch of seven of eight on the road last night and saw
Andrei Markov score versus the Bruins to become the fourth defenseman in
franchise history to score 100 career goals with the club.
“It’s something special not just for a defenseman, but for any player to score
100,” said Markov. “It’s thanks to all my teammates who supported me and
helped me do that. Without them, I never could have done that.”
Tomas Plekanec had a goal and an assist, while Brendan Gallagher assisted on
both goals to help the Habs win for the eighth time in their last nine games.