Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Canadiens confident goals will come after shutout loss to Rangers in opener

Canadiens confident goals will come after shutout loss to Rangers in opener

Wednesday: at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Montreal will definitely have the goaltending advantage heading into the series.

The New York Rangers went into Game 1 as underdogs.

The Montreal fan base, known for its long memories, will nearly certainly let Kreider know they haven't forgotten.

Canadian teams - Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton all lost on home ice in their return to the payoffs, having all missed the postseason dance past year (or even longer for the Oilers).

"Sometimes that first five minutes, it's not really like there's a puck alive out there", Smith said.

J.T. Miller battles for the puck with Canadiens' Jordie Benn in Game 1 on Wednesday. They have reached the playoffs for the seventh straight season. On the other side of the token, the Canadiens forward group matches up well with the Rangers' group. "I don't have a big one-timer, I'm not scoring from distance, so I need to be a big body and get to the top of the paint and try to bang stuff home". Pacioretty led Montreal with five points against NY (one goal, four assists). The start of the playoffs comes two days shy of Claude Julien's two-month anniversary as Canadiens head coach.

"I don't think there's any reason to panic here and I don't think there's any reason to make major changes to even show panic", Julien said Thursday.

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Brady Skjei almost doubled the Rangers' lead early in the second when his shot hit the post and later, Oscar Lindberg had a chance to do the same when he intercepted Price's clearing attempt from behind the net but the Canadiens netminder made it to his cage just in time to deny him.

Both men coached the Hull (now Gatineau) Olympiques when Henry was the team's general manager.

"That doesn't mean anything", said Habs defenseman Shea Weber, who will return after missing the final four games of the regular season with an injury.

It is partly why the Stanley Cup playoffs so great, so special.

The Canadiens meanwhile have really turned things up since the trade deadline and are starting to look more and more like the Cup contender we have grown to see over the years but they have a tough first round matchup here against the first wild card team from NY. Not to mention, Lundqvist has a very reliable backup in Antti Raanta, who has been more than reliable for the Rangers this season. Third-liner Michael Grabner was second in goals scored with 27 in 76 games. The Habs have one of the stingiest blue lines in the National Hockey League and of course have one of the top three goaltenders in the world but the difference in this series is going to be their play in the offensive third as they have struggled to score at times this season and against a very good road team like the Rangers, Montreal knows they need to defend home ice or they could be in trouble if they head to the Big Apple in a series hole. "It's two of the best in the world going at it".

It was clearly the product of having reviewed the previous evening's evidence (after the game he said "what I look at is the opportunities we had, and what we can do with them"). "We've always had a lot of confidence in his game and what he did tonight was what we expected".

Eventually one team will bust through the other's penalty kill, and that is the team who will take command of the series, so the Canadiens better shake off their funk and start putting it all together. The Canadiens are dependent on one of the NHL's best goalies Carey Price. "But overall, Henrik was our best player by far on the ice, and that's what we needed from him". Alternate captain Dan Girardi took all the right angles to shut down the Canadiens on the defensive end.

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