Game Preview: Rangers at Canadiens

By: David Kolb

NEW YORK RANGERS (28-14-1) @ MONTREAL CANADIENS (26-11-6)

ANOTHER ORIGINAL SIX MATCHUP

Tonight the Rangers head north of the border to face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. The game will be the first of three tilts between the two clubs, and this will serve as the backend of a back-to-back set vs. Original Six teams for the Blueshirts, as they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2 at The Garden last night. The Canadiens meanwhile have not skated since Thursday, when they were dominated by the Minnesota Wild by a lopsided score of 7-1.

KREIDER STAYS HOT

Chris Kreider stayed on pace, as he scored Friday vs. the Leafs, giving him six goals in his past six contests. The Boxford, Mass. native now has 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points, and owns a plus-6 rating. Kreider takes the ice tonight having registered five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five games against the Canadiens.

MILLER’S STREAK TO 6

J.T. Miller extended his point-streak to six games (four goals, five assists) Friday, lighting-the-lamp in the third period vs. the Leafs. Miller has produced 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points this season, including six goals and ten assists in road games.

PLEKANEC’S POINTS

Canadiens’ center Tomas Plekanec scored the lone goal for the Canadiens Thursday vs. Minnesota­, extending his point-streak to four games. The 34-year-old Plekanec now has goals in his past three games, giving him six goals and 14 assists for 20 points.

BUCHNEVICH IS BACK

Pavel Buchnevich returned to the lineup Friday for the first time since Nov. 12, and picked up an assist on the third-period J.T. Miller goal. Buchnevich’s offensive abilities were missed throughout the past two months, as he’s tallied four goals and five assists in 11 games played this season, including picking up points in each of the past five games (four goals, three assists) he’s played in.