Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Two Original Six teams clash: MTL and NYR will play the rubber game of their 3-game season series tonight at MSG.
• Oct. 25, 2014 at Bell Centre – MTL def. NYR 3-1 – (Carey Price – 34 saves, Max Pacioretty 1G-1A).
• Nov. 23, 2014 at MSG – NYR def. MTL 5-0 (MTL backup Dustin Tokarski played in place of Price).
• These two teams faced off in the Eastern Conference Final last season (NYR won series 4-2).
• Eastern Conference Outlook: MTL and NYR are both secure in the top 8 in the East standings, as there is a 7-point gap between the 2nd Wild Card (BOS) and 9th-place (FLA).
• Within the top 8, things are much more bunched.
• Montreal sits 3rd in the Atlantic, but is just 2 points behind division-leading DET with 2 games in hand.
• The Rangers are the 1st Wild Card currently, but have at least 2 games in hand on all 3 teams in the Metro above them in the standings.
• Scorching Habs: Montreal enters on a 3-game win streak and owns a 13-3-1 record in its last 17 games.
• Last game: MTL def. DAL 3-2 – this was the first game out of the All-Star Break for MTL. The Habs won despite getting outshot 42-26. Carey Price made 40 saves.
• Rangers Rolling: The Rangers lead the NHL in wins since December 8 with 16, and while New York is and impressive 16-4-0 since then, they are also 3-3-0 in their last 6 games.
• Last game: NYI def. NYR 4-1 – this was the first game out of the All-Star Break for the Rangers. NYR had a 3-game win streak snapped and remained winless against the Isles this season in 3 games (0-3-0 record).
• NYR begins a 4-game homestand tonight (also vs. CAR, BOS, FLA). NYR is 6-1-0 in its last 7 home gms.
MONTREAL TEAM/PLAYER NOTES• Max Pacioretty set a career high last season with 39 goals – that ranked him 4th in the NHL.• Pacioretty is on pace for another 35+ goal season with 21 through 46 games.• Alex Galchenyuk scored a highlight-reel goal vs. DAL to extend his goal streak to 3 games (3G-1A). He has never scored a goal in 4 straight games.• Galchenyuk, the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft, matched his career high with 13 goals, and has set a new career high with 32 points this season.• P.K. Subban is also riding a 3-game point streak (2G-2A) after an assist vs. DAL. His next point will be the 200th of his career.NEW YORK TEAM/PLAYER NOTES• Rick Nash leads the Rangers in goals with 28. He is tied with Tyler Seguin (DAL) for 2nd in the NHL, 1 goal behind league-leader Alex Ovechkin.• No Ranger has led the NHL in goals in a season since Lynn Patrick in 1941-42.• The 30-year-old Nash has already surpassed his goal and point totals from a season ago – in 20 fewer games.• His career high is 41 goals, set in 2003-04 (2nd NHL season, w/ CBJ). He is on pace for over 50 this season.• He has just 2 points (both goals) in the last 6 games.• Derek Stepan was held without a point vs. NYI, but he has 5 points (2G-3A) in his last 4 games.• He is 4th on the team in points (32) despite playing in just 32 of the team’s 45 games this season. Stepan missed the first 12 games of the season recovering from a fractured fibula suffered in training camp.• Ryan McDonagh was a Canadiens 1st round draft choice (12th overall) in 2007. However, he never played an NHL game for the Habs, as he was traded to NYR in the 2009 offseason in the deal that brought Scott Gomez to MTL.• McDonagh only has 1 point in his last 9 games.• Career vs. MTL: While he only has 1 point in 14 career regular season games vs. MTL, last postseason McDonagh led NYR over MTL in the Eastern Conference Final with 10 points (2G-8A) in the 6-game series.• Dominic Moore played for MTL in 2009-10. Last season with NYR, Moore scored the only goal in the Rangers’ 1-0 Game 6 shutout victory in the Eastern Conference Final to eliminate the Habs and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.