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National Hockey League playoffs: Defending Cup champions win opener with Fleury in goal

National Hockey League playoffs: Defending Cup champions win opener with Fleury in goal

The New York Rangers don't mind starting the Stanley Cup playoffs on the road.

So playing the opening two games of their series at the Bell Centre in Montreal is not a big problem.

Pacioretty led Montreal with five points against NY (one goal, four assists).

Getting a two game lead in a series has been a bit of a rarity in the past six post-seasons.

Glass played eight minutes. The Rangers have 10 previous participants. As such they will open the playoffs against the weaker division victor, in this case, the Canadiens. "It's about winning those little battles for loose pucks and making sure you pounce on them and finish it off". The winger, however, is focused on this year.

Offensive depth has been a problem for the Canadiens since ... well, for a very long time. The smallest forwards on the ice tangled with each other numerous times in Game 1.

"My game hasn't changed", Kreider said.

If you don't care about how things look on paper, then don't ignore the fact that NY are more proven in recent seasons than Montreal on the ice in the post-season. "For me to be effective, I need to go get to the crease. You've got to give that team credit; they played pretty well, and I thought Hank played outstanding".

The Maple Leafs are a team building for the future - one, two and three years down the road.

The Canadiens fired coach Michel Therrien during the season and brought back Julien for his second stint with Montreal. The Rangers' record won't hold up against the beasts of the Metro, but it does make them the first Wild Card. However, the Canadiens won all three regular season matchups this year and will be looking for revenge three years removed from being denied a shot at the Cup, this time, with their top goaltender in net. But the team knows that it's a clean slate on both sides for Game 1.

Joe Thornton - San Jose's veteran centre didn't play in Game One against Edmonton, still hurting after suffering a knee injury late in the regular season.

The Maple Leafs have plenty of promise for the future, with a core group of talented young players led by rookie Auston Matthews, who hit the 40-goal plateau in Saturday's playoff clinching win over Pittsburgh. "Teams defend really well and get in the lanes and there's not much ice out there".

Devils: After their worst season in almost 30 years, second-year coach John Hynes said the Devils (28-40-14) didn't compete as hard as they did a year ago. The Rangers had a two-man advantage late in the period but couldn't get a second goal. Kreider led the way with 28, followed by Michael Grabner's 27 and Rick Nash with 23. The Canadiens went 16-7-1 under Julien and won the Atlantic Division after missing the playoffs in 2015-16. Alain Vigneault likes to match best-on-best, and Pacioretty-Danault-Radulov would likely have done better than Byron-Plekanec-Gallagher going up against the Rangers' best unit. In the second period, the Rangers were the better team. "You face adversity along the way, you regroup and go back to work".

Price is 15-5-1 with a 1.82 goals against average and.940 save percentage in his career against the Rangers while Lundqvist, who seems to have never quite got over blowing a 5-0 lead and losing to Montreal on February 20, 2008, is 14-17-3 with a 2.57 average and.898 save percentage against Montreal.