National Hockey League roundup: Rangers shut out Canadiens, 2-0

Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin skates around Columbus Blue Jackets William Karlsson during the first period in Game one of a first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series in Pittsburgh Wednesday

National Hockey League roundup: Rangers shut out Canadiens, 2-0

When I start deviating from my game is when I get in trouble. Pick a winning team, pick the number of games. The team has great depth which gives them four effective lines to rotate through the game with some reliable players off the ice.

Analytics can track just about everything in hockey, but the one thing that cannot be measured through the explosion of statistical thinking is resiliency. The luxury I have is I have another day to think about it.

"You let Lundqvist see the puck, I don't care who [shoots], he's going to stop it". Calgary Flames. The Flames have the offense and the momentum but the Ducks have Jonathan Bernier who is lights out in net and the experience. In fact, the only place in the lineup that is not questionable, is in net. I didn't think at the time it was going to be the difference. As an individual, and as a line, we've got to be better getting those chances. He led the league with 100 points this season and is a frontrunner to be named the most valuable player. "We're one of the 16 teams that have that opportunity". Sharks win in 7.

Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien smiles as he speaks to reporters following practice in Brossard, Quebec, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. After already taking one game in Montreal, the Rangers are in good shape to start the series.

Heading into Sunday, Montreal (final total) and NY have 103 and 100 points in the standings respectively. Montreal is the series betting favourite this time on Sports Interaction NHL odds.

Alex Ovechkin's Washington Capitals are favoured to emerge from the Eastern Conference after finishing with the NHL's best record for a second consecutive season. "I thought Hank was outstanding". He and Brady Skjei were by far the best duo last night. The hits were 20 apiece through one, according to the official box score, and 53-45 for Montreal at the final horn.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Can Sergei Bobrovsky replicate his magnificence of the past six months in the playoffs? Blue Jackets in 7. He has since coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues.

I really want to say Ottawa here. I have the Blues edging this one out.

In December the Rangers were playing like world-beaters and the Canadiens - alias The Habs - were so bad that coach Michel Therrien was sacked and Claude Julien replaced him. After posting 27 wins in the regular season on the road, NY gets the job done in Game 1 on the road.

Joel Ward and Paul Martin scored for San Jose. I'll reiterate -€” I'm bullish on Jonathan Bernier and his ability to carry the Ducks. The 35-year-old has not shut out an opponent since January 22 and surrendered an average of 3.11 goals since the start of March.

The Rangers feature former Red Wing Brendan Smith, which will make some Detroit fans root for New York (Looking at you, Jeff), and some fans root against him. Bruins are on a train.

So, the Rangers top guns need to find a way to break through against Price in Game Two and beyond; but Glass, and Lundqvist, provide the cushion of a 1-0 series lead.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Will there be any excuses for the Capitals if they don't get past the second round again?

And did we mention Tanner Glass scored a goal? If the Ducks hope to hoist the Cup for the second time in franchise history, Perry must get his act together. "That's the type of hockey we need from him".

Eastern Conference: Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals. "They know what it takes". They've had a few extra days of rest over the Bruins which helps them have fresh legs. No matter who won you were breaking an astronomically long streak without a Championship.

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