Rangers host Canadiens in push for Presidents’ Trophy

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the New York Rangers will host the Montreal Canadiens in another Original Six battle. As the Blueshirts (108 pts) continue to push for their fourth Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history, another Original Six franchise is on their heels. The Boston Bruins are just one point behind (107 pts) and the Rangers are looking to distance themselves with their game in hand Sunday.

New York is coming off another comeback victory, defeating the Red Wings in Detroit 4-3 on Friday. In that contest, it was the Rangers bottom-six forwards that willed them to victory with two goals by Barclay Goodrow and one by rookie Will Cuylle.

“He’s one of our top penalty killers and we have a top penalty kill all year.,” coach Peter Laviolette praised Goodrow. “He blocks shots and scraps. He’s a blood and guts type of guy.”

Meanwhile, Chris Kreider broke the tie with the 108th power-play goal of his incredible Rangers career. That gave his team their 26th come-from-behind win of the season, and they’re now 22-4-4 in one-goal games.

Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (52-21-4) vs Montreal Canadiens (29-35-12)
Date/Time: April 7, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG2
Radio: ESPN 1050 AM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Rangers must avoid this potential first-round opponent

New York Rangers projected lineup

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the expected lineup:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Roslovic
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Wennberg – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Brodzinski

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider

Shesterkin
Quick

Note: The Rangers will hold a 10:30 A.M. ET morning skate at the MSG Training Center. Coach Peter Laviolette will address the media at that time.

New York Rangers vs Montreal Canadiens

The Rangers (108 points) are looking to claim their fourth Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history (1991-92, 1993-94, 2014-15), and a potentially easier first-round matchup against the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. They hold a slim lead one-point lead over the Bruins (107 points), who defeated the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

In the race for the Metropolitan Division, New York is up five points on the Carolina Hurricanes (103 points), who host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. The Rangers magic number to take first place is six. Any combination where they can pick up points or the Hurricanes lose points, brings them closer to their goal.

Visiting Montreal is entering The Garden coming off a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Habs have lost two in a row and are 4-5-1 in their past 10 games. They will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are one of the top home teams in the NHL with a record of 27-10-0. Their home points percentage (.730) ranks third in the League and they’ve won 12 of their past 15 contests at MSG. The Rangers are also 7-1-0 in Sunday games.

This is the third and final regular-season meeting against the Canadiens. New York holds a 1-0-1 advantage, looking to close out strong.

Note: The Rangers will announce the winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty,” befpre the game.

Related: Candidates for the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award

Upcoming Rangers Milestones

  • Vincent Trocheck is 3 goals away from 200 in his career
  • Mika Zibanejad is 8 goals away from 300 in his career
  • Kaapo Kakko is 5 games away from 300 in his career

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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