Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist back for Rangers tonight in home opener


Tonight is “welcome back” night at MSG.

The Rangers will play take on Montreal in their first home game of the season — yes, 28 days into the year — and they’ll be doing it with a familiar face in goal, as Henrik Lundqvist will start for the first time in nearly 10 days.

Lundqvist, 31, has missed the last two games with a lower-body ailment, forcing rookie Cam Talbot to tend goal. Talbot fared well, posting a 1-1-0 record with a 1.94 GAA and .934 save percentage, but New York will be keen to get its franchise netminder back into the fold, especially with all its other high-priced talent currently out with injuries.

Captain Ryan Callahan (broken thumb) is still about two weeks away from returning, Carl Hagelin (shoulder) has resumed practicing while Rick Nash (concussion) hasn’t returned to the ice yet.

As for finally getting home ice after a nine-game roadie to start the year — well, the Rangers can look forward to plenty more of it over the following weeks.

Tonight marks a stretch in which New York will play nine of 12 at home, with its load road contests being quick jaunts to Long Island, Columbus and Montreal. The Rangers will also get a chance to gun for wins over teams with losing records: Buffalo (Oct. 31), Columbus (Nov. 7), Florida (Nov. 10) and New Jersey (Nov. 12).

Related: NHL on NBCSN: Road-weary Rangers host Habs in renovated MSG

Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:



Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore

Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.