The NY RANGERS and the MONTREAL will both be gunning for a victory on 4/14/2017 at 7:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
NY RANGERS vs MONTREAL CANADIENS
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, April 14, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
|71||NY RANGERS||0 (-110)||5 125
TV: 7 p.m. ET, USA, MSG (New York), CBC, TVAS (Montreal)
PREDICTION: Canadiens 2, Rangers 1
Oddsmakers currently have the NY RANGERS listed as 130-moneyline favorites versus the MONTREAL, while the game’s total is sitting at 5.
MONTREAL — Shut out in Game 1 of their first-round series against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, the Montreal Canadiens hit the ice for practice Thursday nonetheless pleased with the effort.
They know, however, there are areas to clean up heading into Game 2 on Friday — namely, in front of the opposing net.
“We know that there’s going to be rebounds, there’s going to be opportunities around the net, in tight,” Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry said. “We worked on getting guys in front, getting bodies there, so that when there are rebounds, we have guys there to bury them.”
Montreal had its chances in the series opener, taking shots that produced rebounds, but players were not in position for a quick strike of the loose puck. The Canadiens attempted 68 shots overall, 31 of which reached Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
“We all know that he’s good on the first shot when he sees it,” Montreal winger Alexander Radulov said of Lundqvist. “That’s what we’re trying to do. It’s simple as that. That’s the playoffs, that’s how goals are scored. You have to be in front of him and find that rebound.”
Canadiens coach Claude Julien did not anticipate making any lineup changes for Game 2 but also did not offer any confirmation that he would not. Defenseman Alexei Emelin, sidelined with an undisclosed injury, is “doubtful.” And while the pairing of Nathan Beaulieu and Nikita Nesterov struggled at times in the opener, Julien noted that others on the ice with them factored into their troubles.
No matter who plays, though, the coach believes in his team.
“We’re a confident group that if we play our game, we’re very capable of winning with the lineup we have now,” Julien said. “If it’s not that, we’re extremely confident that the depth that we have will help us along the way, whether it’s next game or the game after that. We’re deep and we need to utilize that to our advantage at some point.”
New York’s depth came through in what was a tight affair. Fourth-line winger Tanner Glass, who spent nearly the entire season in the AHL before earning a call-up last month, scored what turned out to be the winning goal in Game 1. His first-period tally stood until a late empty-net goal sealed the win.
The Rangers showed why they led the NHL in regular-season road wins (27) with a strong effort over the final 40 minutes after a slow start.
“It was pretty good,” New York winger Rick Nash said of his team’s play. “I thought defensively we were great. I still think the wingers can do a bit of a better job on the boards. I think we gave up a lot of chances by the wingers not getting the puck out. But overall, Henrik was our best player by far on the ice, and that’s what we needed from him.”
In a series between two teams known for their speed, a surprise came out of the opening game as the two combined for 98 hits through 60 minutes (45 for New York, 53 for Montreal). Forty of those were delivered in the first period alone.
“I’m not sure of a hundred hits but it’s realistic that it can stay right around that area,” said defenseman Brendan Smith. “I think that’s just what happens in the playoffs. I think a lot of times you feel each other out in the first game and you might get a couple more but there’s going to be bangs, for sure.”
But like Montreal, the Rangers know the most important thing on their to-do list is banging the puck home.
“You’ve got to work that much harder when they playoffs around to get your scoring chances and to get your looks,” said Nash. “As an individual, as a line, and as a unit of five. Got to be better and get more chances.”
STATS AND RECORDS
|4/12/17||NYR 2||MON 0||31||31||0-4||31||29||0-3|