Rangers expect to see different Canadiens team in Game 2

Chris Kreider of the Rangers scores a second-period Chris Kreider of the Rangers scores a second-period goal against goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs in Montreal on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

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MONTREAL - After returning from the funeral for Martin St. Louis' mother, France, none of the Rangers felt much like responding to some of the chirping out of Canadiens practice Sunday.

"Today, I'm definitely not in the mood to pick a fight with anybody," Alain Vigneault said when asked about the expressed feeling that Chris Kreider did not do enough to avoid a collision with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in the second period of Game 1.

Price skated for barely five minutes Sunday and his status for Game 2 is, according to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, up in the air.

Vigneault, like his players, disagreed with the idea that Kreider was trying to injure Price. "I tend to believe a 2-0 game, a guy going on a breakaway, he's trying to score."

Marc Staal said: "I haven't seen the replay or anything like that, but a guy's in on a breakaway, I don't think his thought process is running the goalie. It happens during a playoff series where teams disagree."

Vigneault added he has no doubt Price will play Monday night. "I'm sure he's going to be there, so we're getting ready for him," the Rangers coach said.

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His players are readying for the Canadiens squad they saw sweep past the Lightning and squeak by the Bruins into the Eastern Conference finals, not the team that got caught flat-footed by the Rangers in the 7-2 opener Saturday afternoon.

"I think we played a really good game, but we also got lucky with some of the bounces, some of the goals, they just seemed to keep coming," Dan Girardi said. "We're obviously very happy with our effort in Game 1, but we're not dumb. We know it's not going to happen again. We can't be satisfied with that."

The Rangers played with speed and purpose Saturday, much the way they played in storming back from 3-1 down to the Penguins. Those games were all must-wins, clearly, so it's encouraging to have a team that has not carried much momentum from game to game in any of the last few postseasons to rip off four straight good efforts.

"Game 5 [last round] was out of necessity, three games we had to win or it was over," Staal said. "It's good we were able to carry that over. The key is to keep that going and try to get another game."

That's been no small task for the Rangers, who still have a 13-game postseason losing streak when leading in a series. They also might be without Derick Brassard, their best center this postseason.

Vigneault only reiterated that Brassard, who left Game 1 just three minutes in with an undisclosed injury, was still day to day. Dominic Moore ably filled Brassard's role, setting up the first two Rangers goals.

No matter who's in for the Rangers, they know it won't be as smooth and clean as Game 1.

"We're going to see a whole different team tomorrow night," Brad Richards said, "and we're expecting a big push from them."

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