Three keys to a New York Rangers series victory over the Canadiens

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury stops a shot by Columbus Blue Jackets Scott Hartnell during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series in Pittsburgh Wednesday

It took the Rangers much of the period to generate any offensive pressure that included some power play opportunities.

The New York Rangers spent the last month or so of the season, how shall we say, attempting to massage their record so they could jump to the Atlantic instead of staying in the Metro. These two will be a difference maker in the series. First-round series wins by Montreal (against New York Rangers), Ottawa (against Boston) and Edmonton (against San Jose) wouldn't rate as surprises. Carey Price didn't exactly have the top-notch season that many were expecting as there are now stronger candidates for the Vezina Trophy. With that you have the makings of a quick series win for the Canadiens. "It's more that our teams clash because our playing styles are so similar".

"In this day and age, every goalie is really important to his organization, but we have the privilege of having the best goaltender in this league, so that's the biggest asset we have", Julien said Monday. At least one goal off of a Lundqvist puck handling misplay. That's where I'm going to score goals.

Pacioretty shows he is a playoff performer, Carey Price does Carey Price things, Lehkonen is a surprising hero and Galchenyuk is a key piece to any run the Montreal Canadiens have.

The road victory in Game 1 is crucial, but that's all it is: one game. In 13 career playoff appearances, he's got two wins. Weber scores overtime victor in game 2, Canadiens in six. His ability to step in temporarily but the team would have to play at another level in front of him to win a series.

"It's extremely important [to take the first game]", said Glass, who's backhander 9:50 into the game beat Carey Price and held up for the victor. The team will also be getting a boost with the returns of Weber and Jordie Benn to the lineup after missing the last two weeks of the regular season with injuries.

And the dry spell peaked last season when none of the Canadian clubs were even able to advance to the playoffs.

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Ginette Reno sings the national anthem before Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Montreal. It's not one of those rivalries where you go out there and you're just thinking about how much you hate each other. And what if that player is Rick Nash? Weber and Markov will combine to make Kreider a non-issue.

No one knows how many more kicks at Lord Stanley's can the Habs have with Price at his absolute prime.

With a 6-2 finish over the team's final eight games, the Montreal Canadiens locked up the top seed in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens were all over them, out-shooting the Rangers 15-5.

GM Don Sweeney said Carlo (upper body) is definitely a no go for Game 1 against Ottawa while Krug (lower body) is unlikely.

The Rangers also see themselves as Stanley Cup contenders and are eager to erase the memory of last year's first-round exit.

At this point NBC Sportsnet is ready to start their coverage and we finally get the puck drop, only to find out that both teams had returned to their hotels for naps some time ago, and so there is yet another forty-five minute delay as they are rounded up and lead back to the benches.

On the ice, Max Pacioretty was injured during practice yesterday, but coach Claude Julien said he is "optimistic" the captain will be fine to suit up.

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