The Rangers (10-3-3) tonight visit the unfriendly confine of Montreal and the Bell Centre, where they will take on the Montreal Canadiens (8-8-3) for the second time in two weeks. The Bell Centre hasn’t been the kindest place to the Blueshirts recently, going 0-4-1 on their last five trips to Montreal. Historically, the Rangers are 64-195-40-2 against the Canadiens in Montreal.
The players, though, look forward to playing up in Montreal and the rabid Canadiens fans. These games always have more of a European soccer game than North American hockey game.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Brandon Dubinsky said to Rangers Rants. “The fans are loud and the building gets rocking. There’s a lot of history with the team. It’s a lot of fun playing in that building.”
“It’s a pretty unique atmosphere,” said Ryan McDonagh, who was drafted by the Canadiens in 2007 before coming to the Rangers in 2009 in the Scott Gomez trade. “Hockey pretty much runs the city there. It’s a little different experience. The average person knows a lot about hockey. Even people that don’t know much probably know more than the average fan in most NHL cities.”
The Rangers have won seven straight, and have only allowed nine goals over that period. Two weeks ago, the Rangers defeated the Canadiens, 5-3, in Sean Avery‘s debut at Madison Square Garden. In that game, the Rangers opened up a 3-0 lead, but Habs came back to make it a 4-3 game in the third period.
In the Rangers’ most recent game, they defeated the New York Islanders, 4-2, on Tuesday night. The last game for the Canadiens- a 4-3 loss- came at the hands of those same Islanders.
Coming into the game, Marian Gaborik leads the team in both goals (9) and points (15). The Canadiens come in on a 3-1-1 surge, with Tomas Plekanec leading the way upfront with four goals and 18 points.
Martin Biron (3-0) will get the start tonight. His last game in Montreal, he took the loss, allowing two goals.
Catch the game at 7 pm on MSG, NHL Network, CBC or RDS
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