After securing nine of a possible 10 points in their last five games (4-0-1), the New York Rangers will look to keep the momentum going Tuesday when the streaking Montreal Canadiens pay a visit to Madison Square Garden. The Rangers rebounded from a shootout loss to the rival Islanders by edging Washington on Sunday. Derek Stepan scored a power-play goal to snap a tie at the 4:25 mark of the third period as New York skated to a 2-1 triumph.
Northeast Division-leading Montreal won its fourth game in a row following a strong effort from Peter Budaj. With traditional starter Carey Price sidelined as he recovers from his bout with the flu, the backup netminder turned aside all 19 shots he faced to lead the Canadiens to a 3-0 victory over Carolina on Monday. Montreal and New York split its four contests last season (2-2-0).
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RDS (Montreal), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (10-4-1): Max Pacioretty was credited with his first goal of the season, albeit after Cam Ward misplayed the puck. The Connecticut native would like to get untracked, like he did on Jan. 15 when he collected two goals and an assist in Montreal's 4-1 victory over New York. Former Ranger Brandon Prust gave Budaj all the offense he would need Monday by cleaning up a broken play and scoring at 2:06 of the third period. Tomas Plekanc also scored and has secured a point in 11 of 15 games this season.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (8-5-1): Carl Hagelin has been one of the primary reasons for New York's blistering surge. The 24-year-old Swede has collected five of his six goals in the last four contests, prompting coach John Tortorella to compliment the young star because he "creates a ton of offense." Countryman Henrik Lundqvist is showing flashes of his Vezina Trophy-winning form of 2011-12 by yielding one goal in three of his last four starts. Lundqvist won two of his three starts versus Montreal last season.
1. New York placed C Darroll Powe on injured reserve with a concussion Monday and recalled Brandon Mashinter from Connecticut of the American Hockey League.
2. The Rangers have converted 6 of 53 power-play attempts (11.3 percent), last in the NHL.
3. The Original Six rivals will reconvene at the Bell Centre on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Canadiens 1