5 Things to Know: Rangers at Canadiens, Game 1

BY: DAVID KOLB

NEW YORK RANGERS (48-28-6)* @ MONTREAL CANADIENS (47-26-9)*
Coverage begins at 6 PM on MSG and MSG GO

Will the Rangers steal home-ice advantage in the first game of the series?

* – Regular Season Records

1 Where They Stand

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  • Tonight, the Rangers travel to Montreal for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Canadiens at Bell Centre.
  • New York begins the playoffs with a 3-4-3 mark in its last 10 games.
  • The Blueshirts closed out their road schedule with an impressive 27-12-2 record during the 2016-17 season.
  • The Rangers enter the playoffs as the first Wild Card in the Eastern Conference and face the Canadiens, who won the Atlantic Division.

2 Who's Hot?

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  • Mika Zibanejad will play in his first postseason game for the Blueshirts tonight and enters the game with two goals and six assists in 16 career playoff games.
  • The 23-year-old center closed out his first season on Broadway with 37 points in 56 games and an average ice time of 17:04 per game.
  • Zibanejad enters the playoffs with the hot hand after scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four contests.

3 Say What?

Alain Vigneault discusses entering the postseason as the underdogs, the importance of managing the puck and balancing lineup decisions with playoff experience vs. game time decisions.

“I feel that this year we’re quicker. We’ve got more speed that we can put on display. I think that speed can help us both defensively and offensively. If the other team doesn’t manage the puck well against us, our transition game can really get to you, and that’s what I’m banking on.

Alain Vigneault on the difference between last year’s club and the 2016-17 Blueshirts 

4 Did You Know?

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  • The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (81).
  • The Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (40) and playoff series wins (eight) over that same span.
  • New York has won at least one playoff series in four of the last five years.

5 Must-See Video

Al Trautwig, Ron Duguay and Steve Valiquette examine the goalie matchup in the Rangers-Canadiens series