Facing elimination on Saturday night the Montreal Canadiens will be making a couple of changes to their lineup.
Two of them will be coaches decisions by Claude Julien. One of them will be because of injury.
Julien confirmed on Saturday afternoon that forward Andrew Shaw will not play in Game 6 due to an upper-body injury. Julien said he is considered day-to-day at this point.
“He’s a big part of our team, but obviously without him it’s an opportunity for other guys to step up,” said Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher on Saturday to NBC’s Kaitlin Urka. “We say it all the time, guys drop out of the lineup, other guys are going to come in, very capable players and they are going to be able to do the job.”
There will be a number of new players coming into the lineup on Saturday.
Through the first five games of the series Shaw has yet to record a point for the Canadiens and is a minus-two with seven penalty minutes. He played 13 minutes in the Canadiens’ Game 5 loss in Montreal, getting into a fight with Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith.
Aside from Shaw’s injury, the surprising move here might be Julien’s decision to take Mitchell out of the lineup because he has played fairly well in the series in his limited role. In his three games during the series he has a goal and is one of the team’s best players in the faceoff circle.
Bereglazov, 23, has spent the last few seasons with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, including a ’16-17 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 60 games. He led all d-men aged 24 or younger in assists, with 18.
The New York Rangers dropped their sixth straight playoff game at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, and it wasn’t pretty. They buried that stat on Tuesday, though.
Henrik Lundqvist went from frustrated late in the first period to pumping his fist at the end, guiding the Rangers to a tight 2-1 win against the Canadiens. With that, the intriguing first-round series shifts back to Montreal at a 2-2 tie.
Sometimes, it’s easy to sell a transformation just by looking at the shots on goal, even if that can also be overly simple:
Game 2: Rangers – 38 shots on goal, Canadiens – 58 SOG
Game 3: Rangers – 21 SOG, Canadiens – 29 SOG
Game 4: Rangers – 32 SOG, Canadiens – 24 SOG
As other teams see leads evaporate to dizzying degrees, the Rangers managed to protect a 2-1 lead generated by Rick Nash just 4:28 into the second period. That feels like a lifetime by recent standards.
There was some nasty stuff at times in this Game 4, with Brendan Smith ranking among those who take the most abuse. With this series going to a minimum of six contests and almost every match being tight, this one could get nasty.
The goalies have delivered as advertised, too.
A lot going on – fight included – between Corey Perry, Brendan Smith (Video)
If there’s one thing that’s undeniable from the clip going on, it’s that Corey Perry and Brendan Smith squeezed a lot of activity (carnage?) into a single shift.
Early on in Sunday’s New York Rangers – Anaheim Ducks game, both player delivered hits that were at least borderline dangerous. After that, they traded punches in a pretty solid fight (especially since they seemed a little tired because, again, this was a fairly elaborate sequence).
It’s way too messy a sequence to call neat, but there is something efficient about trading hits and then getting into a fight. That’s a mini-hockey feud in short order.
If you want a pretty moment to counteract all that, check out the great puck movement on this 3-on-1 goal for the Rangers:
No Lundqvist, Nash or Grabner for banged-up Rangers tonight
The Blueshirts are limping into this evening’s tilt with Carolina.
Starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist is sidelined with a lower-body injury. Leading goalscorer Michael Grabner will miss his fifth straight contest with a hip ailment. Alternate captain Rick Nash is out with a lingering upper-body issue.