A pair of Eastern Conference teams in search of their first victory of the season take the ice in the province of Quebec. The New York Rangers are on the road as they travel to face the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night. New York comes in off a 3-2 overtime loss at home to Dallas Thursday night in their most recent contest. Montreal was pasted 5-1 on the road by Buffalo in the second game of a back-to-back situation Thursday night. The teams have split the last 10 meetings with the Rangers earning a 5-2 victory on the road in the most recent meeting back on February 27, 2020.
New York Rangers Trying to Pick Up First Win of SeasonNew York has gotten off to a rough start in the 2021-22 season as they were dropped in their first two contests. The Rangers were walloped on the road by Washington Wednesday night and then struggled to generate much in the way of offense once again against Dallas. New York managed to procure a point in their home opener but they were unable to earn the win in Gerard Gallant’s first home game as coach of the Rangers. Now, they head on the road for their third game in four nights in search of their first victory as they take on a fellow winless team that is logging their third game in four nights as well.
NET 👏 FRONT 👏 PRESENCE 👏 pic.twitter.com/4m0DuO2BrF— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 15, 2021
Against Dallas, the Rangers got a point but came up short in overtime as they were knocked off by the Stars. The opening period saw New York outshot by an 8-4 margin and they trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, the Rangers held an 18-8 edge in shots on goal and outscored the Stars 2-1 to tie the game at two after 40 minutes of action. After falling behind 2-0, New York got on the board when Adam Fox scored his first of the year at 8:43 off assists from Ryan Lindgren and Artemi Panarin to make it a 2-1 game. Chris Kreider tied the game with his second of the season at 15:54 off assists from K’Andre Miller and Mika Zibanejad. In the third period, the Rangers outshot the Stars 11-8 with neither side lighting the lamp, leaving the game tied at two at the end of regulation. During overtime, New York was outshot 2-0 and outscored 1-0 to end up with the overtime loss. Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves for the Rangers, who had a 33-26 edge in shots on goal, in the loss. He’s expected to get the start in goal for this contest as well.
Montreal Canadiens Look to Get Offense GoingMontreal has gotten off to a sluggish start to the 2021/22 season as their offense has failed to generate much in the way when it comes to lighting the lamp. The Canadiens were shut down by the Maple Leafs in the opener, which isn’t a major surprise given the way Toronto played defensively last season. However, their performance against Buffalo on the road Thursday night in the second game of a back-to-back situation was absolutely putrid. The Canadiens are going to have to be better in all facets if they hope to have any chance of getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive season.
Against Buffalo, Montreal was outplayed from start to finish by a Sabres team that was without Jack Eichel and who has missed the postseason for each of the last 10 years. In the opening period, the shots were even at 10 but the Canadiens trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes of action. Montreal was outshot 15-11 in the second period and outscored 2-1 to trail 4-1 after 40 minutes of action. Chris Wideman got Montreal within 2-1 with his first of the year at 9:33 off assists from Joel Armia and Mathieu Perreault but that was as close as the team would get. The Canadiens gave up two goals later in the period to put the game out of reach. In the third period, Montreal was outshot 11-10 and outscored 1-0 as they were beaten soundly. Sam Montembeault made 31 saves for the Canadiens, who were outshot 36-31, in the loss. Jake Allen is expected to get the start in goal for this contest.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
We’re looking at a pair of teams that have been disappointing in the early going this season. The Rangers were walloped in Washington before falling in overtime against Dallas at home in their first two games. Montreal has mustered a measly goal in each of their two games. While they played well in their own end against Toronto, they were dismal against Buffalo as Montembeault was hung out to dry on occasions. With Allen back between the pipes, perhaps Montreal will play a little better defensively. Still, it’s tough to have much in the way of faith in the Canadiens, who are playing with their second and third-string goaltenders with Carey Price out of the mix. Give the edge to the Rangers in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have had their issues offensively so far this season. The Rangers have totaled three goals in their two games. We’ve see them end up with totals of six and five goals, leaving the under 1-0-1 in those contests. Montreal has put up only two goals themselves this season, with totals of three and six goals in their games. That leaves the under with a similar 1-0-1 mark for Montreal. The Rangers have seen the under go 3-0-1 in their last four against Eastern Conference teams. Montreal has seen the under go 3-0-1 in their last four after allowing at least five goals in their previous game and 6-1-2 in their last nine against Eastern Conference teams. Look for this one to follow suit as goals are hard to come by again this season.