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A Primer: Rangers vs. Canadiens at home opener tonight

New York Rangers' Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist looks

New York Rangers' Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist looks on during the friendly ice hockey match between Frolunda and the New York Rangers at the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg. (Sept. 30, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

It’s Henrik Lundqvist (2-4, 3.45, .890 save percentage), returning after missing two games with what was believed to be a lower-body injury, and Montreal's Carey Price (5-5, 2.12, .937) in the nets for the hockey debut at the  “transformed”  Garden.

I’ve got to say, the added artifacts and memorabilia from sports and concerts on display around the arena is very cool, from the 1968-styled hallway to the corridors near the suites. The center-ice scoreboard looks amazing and the live, in-game stats are supposed to be very informative. Interested to hear your thoughts, as always.

The Rangers line and d-pairs, judging from the morning skate, will be the same as in Detroit.




Fast-D. Moore-Zuccarello.



J. Moore-Del Zotto.

Mashinter and Falk are the healthy scratches.

RW Ryan Callahan, who is about 10 or 11 days into rehab for his broken thumb, skated with a stick prior to today’s optional for a second consecutive day, but declined -- through a team spokesman -- to speak with the media. He is at least a week away.

LW Carl Hagelin, who is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve Tuesday, is ready to play against the Islanders and Thomas Vanek, but coach Alain Vigneault said today that he hasn’t decided on his lineup for that game. He did say Hagelin would add speed 5-on-5 and the penalty kill whenever he’s in…”and should push the opposition a bit.”

One matchup advantage that Vigneault, who like to play percentages, will have at home is the last change for the first time this year. He said today that he is “not stubborn about it to the extent of some guys (coaches) who stick to it …I prefer if we’re in our offensive zone (on a faceoff), to start with what might be our best offensive players to start with the puck.”


The Canadiens (6-5-0) are without injured former Ranger Brandon Prust and Max Pacioretty…D Douglas Murray is expected to dress. It is the first of three games between the two teams this season; the other two are at Bell Centre.

“They have two of the best offensive D in the league in Subban and Markov…and a lot of speed,” said Vigneault.“We had a good meeting this morning and guys are ready. ”

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