Rangers-Canadiens series preview

Montreal Canadiens' Brandon Prust, right, collides with Rangers'

Montreal Canadiens' Brandon Prust, right, collides with Rangers' Dan Girardi during the third period. (Feb. 23, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Les Habitants, like the Rangers one of the NHL's Original Six teams, have faced the Rangers 14 times in the playoffs, dating to 1930; the teams are 7-7.

In the 1970s, the teams met three times, twice in the quarterfinals (1972 and 1974) with the Rangers capturing both series, 4-2. In 1979, in the Stanley Cup Final, the Canadiens KO'd the Rangers in five games.

The last time they met was in 1996, in the conference quarterfinals, when the Blueshirts ousted the Canadiens in six games.

This season, the Canadiens, who finished fourth in the East (46-28-8, 100 points) and swept Tampa in the first round, won two of the three low-scoring games with the Rangers.

On Oct. 28, in the home opener at the Garden, Peter Budaj stopped 27 shots and blanked the Blueshirts, 2-0, besting Henrik Lundqvist. Carey Price and Cam Talbot were in goal in the two games at Bell Centre, with Talbot posting his first career shutout, 1-0, on Nov. 16, and losing, 1-0, in overtime on Brian Gionta's penalty shot in the regular-season finale on April 12.

Ryan Callahan, before being traded to Tampa, scored the only Rangers goal on a power play.

With 39 goals and 60 points, Max Pacioretty led Montreal in scoring. Price, who won gold in Sochi with Team Canada, was 34-20-5 with a 2.32 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Electrifying defenseman P.K. Subban had 10 goals and 43 assists.

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