The New York Rangers embarrassed the Montreal Canadiens on home ice to start the Eastern Conference Final series The Blue Shirts opened the with a 7-2 win, and to make things worse for the Canadiens they’ll be without star goalie Carey Price for the remainder of this series. But, sportsbooks still have the home ice Canadiens as -120 moneyline favorites over the Rangers (+110) with the total listed at 5 goals. “Carey Price won’t be able to play, not only for tonight but for the rest of the series,” said Coach Michel Therrien. “Really disappointed. He’s our best player. Take a look at the Rangers vs Habs preview and be sure to check out the full list of NHL Playoff Odds.
The Rangers (9-6, 5-3 V) Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan each had a goal and an assist and Dominic Moore chipped in a couple of assists, while Mats Zuccarello delivered a goal and two assists. Zuccarello is now the Rangers’ leading scorer in the playoffs, with 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in 15 games, one ahead of St. Louis and Brad Richards. Richards scored a goal and registered a game-high 10 shot attempts.
While New York recorded seven goals in the opener, perhaps none was more important – at least psychologically – than the one by Rick Nash. The struggling forward scored on the power play during the third period for his first tally of the postseason and just his second in 27 playoff games as a member of the Rangers. Nash’s inclusion with the man advantage came as a result of the absence of Derick Brassard, who is considered day-to-day by coach Alain Vigneault after exiting Game 1 with an undisclosed injury.
The Canadiens (8-4, 4-2 H) appeared flat in against the Rangers. Carey Price, who has been great in the playoffs, was pulled between the second and third periods after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Only twice, in 70 (regular season plus playoff) games this season, did Price allow at least four goals with 16 or fewer saves.
Though his production was inconsequential, Canadiens Lars Eller had a goal and an assist and he’s the top scoring Montreal forward in the playoffs with five goals and 11 points in a dozen games.
If Price can’t play, backup Peter Budaj will likely get the call. Third-stringer Dustin Tokarski is also available. Budaj, who has awful numbers in his limited career playoff experience, replaced Price for the third period in Game 1 and allowed three goals on eight shots, although two of the goals were on the power play, including one on a two-man advantage.
“I’m ready if I have to go but nobody told me anything,” said Budaj. “I don’t know if I’m playing or not. I’ll be ready if I get the chance to play. We’ll see how he feels.”
In seven playoff games, Budaj is 0-2-0 with an .843 save percentage and 5.13 goals-against average.
Recent Betting Trends to Consider:
Under is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings.
Under is 6-1-2 in the last 9 meetings in Montreal.
Home team is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings.
Rangers are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.
Rangers are 2-9 in the last 11 meetings in Montreal.
Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 overall.
Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 road games.
Canadiens are 9-2 in their last 11 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
NY Rangers at Montreal
When: Monday May 19@8:00 PM ET
Pick: Habs -114
The Bottom Line: no Price, no win for Canadiens! We recommend you sign up with Carbonsports to receive a 10% sign up bonus heading into the NY Rangers vs Montreal matchup.