National Hockey League
Preview
Montreal at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 29, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers are enjoying torrid stretches as they ascend in their respective divisions and toward the postseason. The Original Six rivals look to continue their hot hands when they play the final contest of their three-game season series at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. All-Star Carey Price made 40 saves in Montreal's 3-2 triumph over Dallas on Tuesday, lifting his team to its third straight victory while it improved to 13-3-1 in its last 17 contests.

The red-hot Rangers entered the All-Star break by winning 16-of-19 games but cooled considerably in a 4-1 setback to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Carl Hagelin scored on the power play with nine seconds remaining to avoid the shutout and also tallied in the Rangers' 3-1 loss to Montreal on Oct. 25 and again in a 5-0 win over the Canadiens on Nov. 23. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves in the latter contest, recording the 10th of his 14 wins against Montreal at Madison Square Garden.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RSN, RDS (Montreal), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (30-13-3): Alex Galchenyuk has scored in each of the three games during Montreal's winning streak, moving his season goal total to 13 and tying him for second place with Tomas Plekanec. Max Pacioretty, who leads the club with 21 goals and 38 points, joined Dale Weise with a tally and an assist in the Canadiens' 3-1 victory on Oct. 25. Brendan Gallagher scored versus the Stars, marking his career-high fourth game-winning goal of the season.

ABOUT THE RANGERS (27-14-4): Coach Alain Vigneault elected to alter his lines during Wednesday's practice, most notably putting Dominic Moore to center wings Hagelin and Lee Stempniak. "I put them together (Tuesday) night in the third (period) because I thought both of them were playing at a good pace and making some good plays," Vigneault said of Hagelin and Moore. "They're used to playing together on the (penalty) kill, they communicate real well with one another." Vigneault also was quick to praise Tanner Glass, who provided a physical presence with 14 penalty minutes versus the Islanders and 24 total with 18 hits over his last three contests.

OVERTIME

1. Montreal is 8-for-23 on the power play over its last five contests after going 3-for-33 in the previous 10 games.

2. New York RW Mats Zuccarello is expected to compete on Thursday despite being under the weather.

3. The Canadiens have won eight of the last 11 regular-season meetings, but the Rangers have captured 10-of-15 at home.

PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Canadiens 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Montreal 30-13-2-1 W3 16-5-1-1 14-8-1-0 0-0-0-0 30-13-2-1 9-4-0-1
NY Rangers 27-14-0-4 L1 14-6-0-3 13-8-0-1 4-0-0-0 23-14-0-4 13-4-0-1
Last Meeting
Montreal NY Rangers
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/23/14 MON 0 NYR 5 21 29 0-1 34 21 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Montreal B. Allen 0
NY Rangers C. Kreider 2
Goals Player  
Montreal B. Allen 0
NY Rangers C. Hagelin 1
Assists Player  
Montreal B. Allen 0
NY Rangers C. Kreider 2
Saves Player  
Montreal D. Tokarski 29
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 21
Season
Total Points Player  
Montreal M. Pacioretty 41
NY Rangers R. Nash 44
Goals Player  
Montreal M. Pacioretty 24
NY Rangers R. Nash 28
Assists Player  
Montreal P. Subban 27
NY Rangers D. Brassard 25
Saves Player  
Montreal C. Price 1133
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 1010
Quickchart Matchup
Montreal Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.63 GF
2.36 GA
27.6 Shots
29.2 Shots
24 PP
25 PK
NY Rangers Off vs  Montreal Def
2.96 GF
2.33 GA
30.2 Shots
30.7 Shots
27 PP
24 PK