Greetings from Bell Centre.
RW Mats Zuccarello, who left the KHL two weeks ago, is expected to skate with Brad Richards and Chris Kreider in his first game of the season. Reminded writers today that he wasn't a savior: "I'm not Gretzky...just hoping to provide a spark..."
Martin Biron, who has started three of the last four times the Rangers have visited here, is in goal against Carey Price, who has blanked the Rangers in his last three games in the cage here.
I expect Jeff Halpern to center a fourth line for the Habs in his first appearance since he was waived and picked up by Montreal. Brandon Prust is a game-time decision.
As you may know, if you've been following the way things have played out here in Montreal, the Rangers have lost seven straight by a score of 27-7. The tale of the tape:
Oct. 24, 2009 - Canadiens, 5-4 in overtime
Jan. 23, 2010 - Canadiens, 6-0
Jan. 15, 2011 - Canadiens, 3-2
Feb. 5, 2011 - Canadiens, 2-0
Nov. 19, 2011 - Canadiens, 4-0
Jan. 15, 2012 - Canadiens, 4-1
Feb. 23, 2013 - Canadiens, 3-0
No matter what happens tonight, Rangers will remain in 8th in the East, due to Isles loss in Pittsburgh.
Henrik Lundqvist had started nine straight, a season-high. With 14 games remaining and the playoff race tight, it is certainly possible that he will play in 12 of them…Darroll Powe is a healthy scratch for the third straight game, Arron Asham is taking a seat for the first time in four games and D Matt Gilroy’s streak on the bench reaches nine.
Brad Richards, who grew up on Prince Edward Island, said Bell Centre wasn’t “daunting”, but just the opposite. “I love it,” he said. “I have some great memories here, I played junior here, seen a lot of Canadiens teams growing up, always loved coming here. It’s my favorite place to play by a mile. I love it no matter what night, it just gives you that feeling of hockey as soon as you step in the building.”
Warmups and lines coming soon...