Playing at the Bell Centre in Montreal hasn’t always come with the best results for New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist hasn’t played in Montreal since Jan. 15, 2012, serving as the Rangers backup in four straight games at Bell Centre. He hasn’t won in the building since March 17, 2009.
Well, that’s going to have to change if the Rangers are to advance past the Canadiens and on to the Stanley Cup Final.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara might have played through the second half of Boston’s series against the Montreal Canadiens with a significant injury.
Slovak general manager Otto Sykora told hokej.sk that Chara wouldn’t play in the world championships because he suffered broken finger and he will need surgery.
Chara was slashed on the hand, but that occurred during Game 3 of the second round series.
Chara still logged over 20 minutes in each of the Bruins next three contests, but Montreal ultimately eliminated Boston in seven games. He had two goals and four points in 12 playoff contests in 2014 while averaging a team-high 25:20 minutes per contest.
It’s worth adding that Bruins president Cam Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday that he wasn’t aware that Chara had sustained an injury during the Bruins’ playoff run.
Update: Chara doesn’t want to talk about injuries, but he address the matter this afternoon.
“It’s something that doesn’t need to be surgically [fixed] so far and hopefully it stays that way,” Chara told ESPN. “It’s not something I’m going to blame or making excuses. That’s the way it is. We all play with different injuries, or banged up and that’s part of hockey in the playoffs. For sure, that’s not why we lost.”
The plan is to continue to “stay on top of” the situation over the next few days to make sure that his plans don’t need to be altered.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is one of the main reason the New York Rangers have gotten to the Eastern Conference Final. If they are going to get any further though, Lundqvist will need to do better at Montreal’s Bell Centre than he has in quite a while.
Lundqvist has a career 3.87 GAA and .876 save percentage there and hasn’t won in Montreal since March 17, 2009, per Newsday.
“It’s so long since I’ve played there, I don’t really remember,” Lundqvist said.
He’s right. He hasn’t played there in over two years as both former coach John Tortorella and current bench boss Alain Vigneault have exclusively used their backup goaltenders in Montreal for the last two seasons.
“It just happened that way,” Vigneault said.
The Canadiens have home ice advantage in the upcoming series, so Lundqvist will get his first chance in a while to end that slump on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, NBC).