NHL playoff preview: Canadiens vs. Rangers

A look at how the two teams in the Eastern Conference final matchup.


Def. Tampa Bay, 4-0; Def. Boston, 4-3.


Def. Philadelphia, 4-3; Def. Pittsburgh, 4-3

Playoff power play: Canadiens 26.3% (fourth); Rangers 10.9% (13th).

Playoff penalty killing: Canadiens 80% (11th); Rangers 82.9% (ninth).

Playoff leading scorers: Canadiens, P.K. Subban 4-8—12; Rangers Brad Richards 4-5—9.

Outlook: The Canadiens weren't big scorers during the regular season, but they lead all playoff teams with an average of 3.27 goals per game. Defenseman Subban has been the most dynamic player in the playoffs, a catalyst who makes things happen at both ends of the ice. Montreal is small but pesky and used its speed and grit to confound the Bruins, who were the NHL's second-best defensive team. Goaltender Carey Price (2.15 goals-against average, .926 save percentage) allowed one goal in the last two games against Boston, a key reason Montreal rallied to win that series. The Rangers faced a 3-1 series deficit against the Penguins before winning the last three games, shutting down Sidney Crosby and crew. They have two defense pairs that can be shutdown duos: Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, or Marc Staal and Anton Stralman. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (1.99, playoff-best .931), whose Team Sweden lost the Sochi Olympic gold medal game to Price and Team Canada, has been exceptional during the playoffs. The Rangers have been able to roll four lines and keep their forwards fresh. Fifteen players have scored at least one goal.

Helene's Elliott's pick: The Canadiens haven't been to the Stanley Cup final since 1993 but will get there this time. Montreal in six.


Game 1: Sat. at Montreal, 10 a.m.

Game 2: at Montreal, TBA

Game 3: at N.Y. Rangers, TBA

Game 4: at N.Y. Rangers, TBA

Game 5*: at Montreal, TBA

Game 6*: at N.Y. Rangers, TBA

Game 7*: at Montreal, TBA

* if necessary; Times PDT

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