Tuesday, February 19, 2013
W2W4: Rangers vs. Canadiens
By Katie Strang
At a glance: Coming off a win against the Capitals on Sunday night, the Rangers close out a three-game homestand as they host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. After a middling start to the season, the Blueshirts are 4-0-1 in the past five games -- but they face a tough test against the Habs. Montreal (10-4-1) is on a four-game winning streak and enters Tuesday's game ranked second in the Eastern Conference.
Familiar face: Tuesday marks the first time the Rangers will face their former beloved teammate, Brandon Prust, since he signed with the Canadiens. The gritty do-it-all forward, one of they key "glue guys" last season, earned himself a nice payday in free agency. The 28-year-old inked a four-year deal with the Canadiens worth $10 million in July.
Rangers debut: Recently recalled forward Brandon Mashinter is expected to make his Rangers debut Tuesday. The physical 24-year-old was called up from the Rangers' AHL squad on Monday in the wake of a concussion to fourth-line forward Darroll Powe. Mashinter, who was traded to the Rangers from San Jose earlier this season, had 5 goals and 6 assists in 14 games this season for the AHL's Connecticut Whale. He also had 23 penalty minutes. Mashinter previously played 13 games for San Jose in the 2010-11 season.
Fists flying: Might Prust try to prove where his allegiances lie? It wouldn't be a stretch to assume the rugged winger will drop the gloves against his old teammates. Should that happen, it would likely be tough guy Arron Asham or Mashinter who is forced to answer the bell. Prust is tied for second in the league with five fighting majors this season.
Hagelin getting hot: With a goal in Sunday's 2-1 win against Washington, first-line winger Carl Hagelin extended his goal-scoring streak to four games. The speedy 24-year-old has 7 points during that span and is creating havoc with his legs while playing with center Derek Stepan and winger Rick Nash.
Price is right: Habs netminder Carey Price is expected to be back in net for Montreal after backing up Peter Budaj in Budaj's shutout win against the Hurricanes on Monday night. Price will face reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist in net.