Rangers Begin Quest for Stanley Cup in Montreal

MONTREAL CANADIENS: Is Chris Kreider No. 1 on the hit list for the Canadiens and their fans? There are a couple of guys who will be the first to tell you, 'I need to be better.' We all know that.

"A lot goes into winning the Cup and obviously we've got to start with the series against the Rangers and try and build our way up against them".

Game 2 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.

It can happen immediately after games but more often it's early the next morning.

Had the Rangers focused on their speed and skill game, they likely could have generated more offense than the Canadiens.

Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant.

"They play fast for 82 games and so do we", said Pacioretty. However, Lundqvist struggles in games at the Bell Centre. Price is 15-5-1 with a 1.82 GAA and.940 save percentage in his career against the Rangers. But to his credit, Lundqvist dialed up a retro performance in the series opener.

The NHL playoffs get underway with an original six matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers.

Even though the Canadiens had more opportunities than the Rangers in the first period, the Rangers entered the second period with the lead. Add to that the number of Olympic and World Cup games those five have participated in, and they have a legitimate excuse if they start operating on fumes.

In fact, his second-period highway robbery on Shea Weber likely was his best save of the night.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Montreal.

The Flames have failed to win a regular-season game at the home of the Anaheim Ducks since 2004, a losing streak of 25 games. There is still plenty of hockey to be played.

Both men coached the Hull (now Gatineau) Olympiques when Henry was the team's general manager.

There was passion and hunger in the Rangers game.

The three forwards Bergevin acquired at the National Hockey League trade deadline - Steve Ott, Dwight King and Andreas Martinsen - were all in the lineup for Game 1 and failed to score a goal, which shouldn't come as a surprise since they have combined for only one goal by King since coming to Montreal.

Heading into Sunday, Montreal (final total) and NY have 103 and 100 points in the standings respectively. Uplifting for their respective teams.

New York's depth came through in what was a tight affair. By my eyes, that seems about right. While Price played very well for the Canadiens, Lundqvist was the best player on the ice on Wednesday night. That would be awful form, and a bad waste of a special moment. "You don't often see that".

"He scored a big goal", Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Even while adopting the Canadiens' style of play, the Rangers were still able to generate flurries of offensive chances.

Tomas Plekanec won a faceoff against Kevin Hayes in the Canadiens' zone, but the puck was left sitting in the faceoff circle and Tanner Glass beat Carey Price with a backhander at 9:50 of the first period.

Michael Grabner added a late empty-net goal for NY, which got 31 saves from Henrik Lundqvist. Expect tension for Montreal and NY after the teams met in a contentious 2014 Eastern Conference final. Beating the Canadiens isn't impossible but, like against any team in the playoffs, the Rangers need to bring their A-game.

Tuesday: at NY, 7 p.m.

Glass played eight minutes. Missing 21 games with knee injuries this season didn't help as he finished with 17-27-44 totals in 61 games.

They all were tone-setters, and not just on the goal.

"(Game 1) was a good template", forward Rick Nash said after practice at Bell Centre. And it will be even more hard of a task to earn another road victory. The Canadiens also won the Stanley Cup that year.