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Practice Notes: Lundqvist to start against Canadiens

Bobby Bevilacqua

The Rangers Celebrate!

The last time that the Rangers played the Canadiens at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years.

The Rangers will play their first game in four days on Sunday when they face off against the Montreal Canadiens for the second time this season. This time, the two teams will play in New York.

The last time the Rangers played Montreal, it was at the Bell Centre, with the Habs coming away with a 3-1 victory. Carl Hagelin scored the lone goal for New York, assisted by Anthony Duclair and Dan Girardi. Carey Price led the Canadiens to victory, stopping 34 shots in the process.

Despite Talbots fantastic performance against the Flyers, where he earned his first victory of the season in a 2-0 shutout win, Vigneault has decided to start Lundqvist on Sunday.

With Friday’s game against the Sabres postponed, the Rangers came away with an unexpected four days of rest, which certainly helped out players like Lundqvist.

“Right now it’s been a bit of a break,” said Lundqvist. “So even though I’m anxious to get back in there and play, there have been a couple good days of practice – plus I can reload because there a lot of games coming up. I think it’s been good for entire group to get a few days here.”

henrik lundqvist 11-17

Henrik Lundqvist will be back in the Net for the Rangers on Sunday when they play the Canadiens. Lundqvist started in the Rangers lost in Montreal by a final score of 3-1. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Henrik Lundqvist has started off the year with a 7-5-3 record alongside a 2.68 GAA and a .910 save percentage. He has faced a heavy workload, so there’s a lot of reason to be confident in Lundqvist on Sunday.

After missing Wednesday’s game against the Flyers, Lee Stempniak was back on the ice for the Rangers, alternating with Jesper Fast on the fourth line.

Vigneault said that he expects Anthony Duclair to play on Sunday, and if he decided to make a lineup change, Stempniak would be available. This likely means that if he were to reinsert Stempniak, it would come at the expense of Fast.

Outside of a potential Stempniak-for-Fast swap, I doubt there will be any other changes. Vigneault switched up the Rangers lines on Wednesday, pairing Zuccarello with Brassard and Nash and placing St. Louis alongside Stepan and Kreider.

Lee Stempniak 10-14

After missing a game with a sore back, Lee Stempniak was back in practice, taking rushes with the fourth line. Stempniak may take Jesper Fast’s spot on the fourth line. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

The switch worked, as St. Louis picked up an assist on the power play and Zuccarello playing a very strong game on the top line.

The Canadiens are coming off of a 2-0 victory in Boston yesterday, with the goals coming from Andrei Markov and Thomas Plekanec. Carey Price made 33 saves and earned the shutout to give the Habs their 16th win of the season.

With Price getting the start on Saturday, that likely means that backup Dustin Tokarski will start against the Rangers. Tokarski started in the Eastern Conference Fonals after Carey Price was injured, and was phenomenal when he played.

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Posted on November 23, 2014, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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