(Sports Network) - Once again without the services of star winger Rick Nash,
the New York Rangers will try to avoid a third straight loss when they visit
the Montreal Canadiens for Saturday's clash at the Bell Centre.
Nash has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury suffered in a
win last Sunday against Washington. He is not with the team in Montreal and
it's unclear if he'll be able to return for New York's next game, which is
scheduled for Tuesday against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Nash was acquired in a blockbuster trade with Columbus last summer and has
three goals and a team-high 12 points this season.
Saturday's contest is the second meeting between the Rangers and Canadiens in
less than a week. Montreal visited New York on Tuesday and handed the Nash-
less Blueshirts a 3-1 loss. Carey Price turned aside 24-of-25 shots in the win
for the Canadiens, who are tied with New Jersey for the most points (24) in
the Eastern Conference this season.
Montreal has claimed three of the last four meetings in this Original Six
series and the Rangers have dropped six straight and eight of their previous
nine tilts at the Bell Centre.
After losing at home to Montreal on Tuesday, the Rangers were handed a
shootout loss Thursday in Ottawa. Kaspars Daugavins scored the deciding goal
in the seventh round to lift the Senators to a 3-2 come-from-behind win at
New York scored twice in the third period to take a 2-1 lead but Ottawa's Mika
Zibanejad scored with 6:30 remaining in regulation to force overtime.
Senators goaltender Ben Bishop shined during the shootout phase after being
pressed into duty for an injured Craig Anderson. The backup netminder turned
back six of the seven New York skaters he faced after letting up a pair of
third-period goals less than a minute apart in his relief stint.
Henrik Lundqvist came up with 35 saves in regulation and overtime for New
York, losers of three of four games since a three-game winning streak from
Feb. 7-12. Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal for the Rangers in
"I think you have to be happy with the point, but at the same time you're not
settled or satisfied with that," Callahan remarked.
New York hasn't lost three in a row since an 0-3-0 stretch from March 6-9 of
In addition to Nash being out, Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is
questionable for Saturday's game due to a lower-body injury suffered in the
third period of Thursday's loss.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens will try to get back in the win column on Saturday
after having their longest winning streak of the season halted their last time
on the ice. Montreal won five straight before losing to the New York Islanders
in overtime on Thursday.
Rookie defenseman Thomas Hickey won the game for the Islanders by scoring his
first NHL goal with 1:48 left in overtime, lifting New York to the 4-3 road
Max Pacioretty scored twice and Travis Moen also lit the lamp for the
Canadiens. Price allowed all four goals on 25 shots in the setback.
"It's a shame we left Carey out to dry like that," Pacioretty said. "Everyone
has to look at themselves in the mirror and step up...myself included.
Personally, I'm embarrassed."
The OT setback dropped the Canadiens to 7-3-1 as the home team this season.
The Rangers are just 2-3-1 on the road.
The Sports Network