Stanley Cup Playoffs roundup: Rangers take Game 1 from Canadiens

Stanley Cup Playoffs roundup: Rangers take Game 1 from Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price goes through a drill in between goaltender Al Montoya and coach Stephane Waite during a practice Monday, April 10, 2017, in Brossard, Quebec. Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary will all aspire to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada, something that has not happened since the Canadiens won in 1993.

"We all know that he's good on the first shot when he sees it", Montreal winger Alexander Radulov said of Lundqvist. The Rangers won 3-2.

The New York goalie survived a shaky first period to make 31 saves in the Rangers' 2-0 victory Wednesday night in their playoff opener. If the Rangers can return to NY with two games in their back pocket, that will set the stage for two massive games at Madison Square Garden.

The Canadiens went 24-12-5 at home this season, while the Rangers went 27-12-2 on the road. The Rangers have locked up the first wild card seed and will face the Atlantic division leading Montreal Canadiens in round one.

"Claude is the kind of guy who can convince you to be a good player and improve your game just by the way he speaks to you", he said. "I got it up, but he made a great save".

The Blueshirts and Canadiens will meet at Bell Centre for Game 1 of their first round series.

"My game doesn't change".

"I'm sure it's going to be tight for the rest of the way".

On the other, the Canadiens have showed this lack of ability to score before.

Since New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist entered the NHL, he has been one of the best goalies in the league.

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"I think this was one of our better games as a team in a long time", he said. "When you take that away from them, yeah it's not going to be as loud". And he has never beaten Price in a regular season game. But instead of playing to their strengths, the very strengths that allowed them to accumulate 103 points this season, the Rangers made a decision to play down to the Canadiens.

"They're a great team". "We had some good looks". Still Lundqvist played a strong, assertive game and fought for every save like this was his last opportunity to win the Cup. The Canadiens scratched C Torrey Mitchell, C/W Brian Flynn, RW Michael McCarron and D Brandon Davidson, while D Alexei Emelin remained sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

In fact, his second-period highway robbery on Shea Weber likely was his best save of the night.

But for all his talent, the third overall pick from the 2012 draft has had a hard time convincing previous Habs coach Michel Therrien and then Julien, who took over on February 14, that he is a legitimate top-line center.

It all started on Wednesday night with a spectacular opening montage on CBC celebrating the return of five Canadian teams into the playoffs, something that was sorely lacking last season. At 27-12-2 when visiting, NY will finish the regular season with more road wins than Montreal have home wins.

"You want to stay even-keel". "You're trying to finish (checks) and get yourself engaged".

"They play fast for 82 games and so do we", said Pacioretty. To find success, the Rangers will need to capitalize on power play chances that will likely come few and far between.

The Rangers are a stellar +35 on goal differential this season, better than Montreal's stat from the same point of view of (+26).

Of course, we put Kevin on the spot and ask for his New York Rangers round one prediction. Finishing second might cost a team home-ice advantage in the second round of the playoffs, but Montreal might have been better with that problem than the first-round coin toss that they have against NY.

Keeping that in mind, here are 16 pressing questions for 16 playoff teams.

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