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Conference Final Revenge? That might be on the minds of many Habs fans, but the players claim it’s just another game in a long season as they try to improve to 7-1
on the year on Saturday night against the New York Rangers.  Nevertheless, a comprehensive victory would be highly satisfying for the Montreal Canadiens and the fans.

A victory would be especially sweet since the ascendancy of Rangers Captain Ryan
McDonagh is still a sore point with many of the Montreal faithful.  Les Canadiens are coming off an exciting OT win against Detroit (at least the end of the 3rd period and the OT were exciting) that featured excellent goaltending by
Carey Price and strong games from Alex Galchenyuk, in beast mode for the tying goal;
David Desharnais, with a beauty to win it in OT and Max Pacioretty who didn’t save face, but made a great save with his face.

New York is also on a bit of a roll, having also earned a comeback victory in OT
in their last outing back on Tuesday night.  They erased a 3-1 third period
Devils lead with goals by Rick Nash and Chris Mueller with defenceman Kevin
Klein scoring the OT winner.  Nash, widely considered a bust last season, is on fire leading the NHL with eight goals in seven games.

Key questions

1. Can Les Canadiens get and hold a lead? Against Detroit they managed to get out of the first period with a zero-zero tie, but given
Henrik Lundqvist’s traditionally strong play against Montreal, an early lead would be a welcome change.

2. Will they continue to tighten up in the defensive zone?

3. Will the powerplay continue its resurgence?
4. Will P-A Parenteau start burying some of the great chances generated for him by his linemates?

5. Will Dale Weise be able to spark Rene Bourque and Lars Eller into becoming consistent threats in the offensive zone?  Not to mention, being better defensively?

6. Will anyone go after Chris Kreider if he gets too close to Price?

Given the time off and Michel Therrien’s propensity for sticking with a winning line up
– not to mention Nathan Beaulieu and Michael Bournival being sent down to Hamilton for some playing time
– it seems likely that the lineup will remain the same as the one which faced

Fearless prediction: The Habs find a way to eke out a 7th win and depart for a 3 game Western Canada road trip on a high
– improving on what is already their best start since 1977-78 – but many Habs fans
will still be unhappy.

Expected Lineups


Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – P-A Parenteau
Rene Bourque – Lars Eller – Dale Weise
Brandon Prust – Manny Malhotra – Travis Moen

Alexei Emelin – P.K. Subban
Andrei Markov – Tom Gilbert

Jarred Tinordi – Mike Weaver

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratches: Jiri Sekac

New York

Chris Kreider – Kevin Hayes – Rick Nash

Mats Zuccarello – Derick Brassard – Martin St. Louis

Carl Hagelin – Dominic Moore – Anthony Duclair
Tanner Glass – Chris Mueller – Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Kevin Klein

John Moore – Matt Hunwick

Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Talbot

Scratches: Mike Kostka, Ryan Malone
Injuries: Dan Boyle, Derek Stepan

Puck drop is at 7 PM and can be seen on TVA
Sports and City TV.