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Rangers-Canadiens Preview

AP - Sports

Carey Price hasn't allowed a goal at home to the New York Rangers in almost three years.

The Montreal Canadiens haven't lost to them at Bell Centre in over four.

Price is expected to be back in net looking to continue his dominance of the Rangers and help the Canadiens to a ninth straight win over their Original Six rival Saturday night.

Montreal (10-8-2) has outscored the Rangers 30-7 over the last eight home meetings, including 16-1 in the past five. The Canadiens' last defeat to New York on their home ice came in a shootout on March 17, 2009.

That marks Price's only blemish at home versus the Rangers. He's 6-0-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average over his last seven matchups, posting four straight shutouts with 103 total saves.

He last yielded a goal to the Rangers in a 3-2 win on Jan. 15, 2011.

Price's success against New York may have factored in him being rested Friday in Montreal's 3-2 shootout win at Columbus. Backup Peter Budaj made 23 saves and turned aside all three attempts in the tiebreaker.

Budaj was also terrific in Price's place at New York on Oct. 28, making 27 stops in a 2-0 victory.

Tomas Plekanec had a goal in that meeting, and he's totaled five with three assists during the Canadiens' home winning streak in the series. P.K. Subban has chipped in with seven assists in six of those games, factoring in all of the scoring of a 3-0 win March 30.

Not surprisingly, the Rangers would like to avoid discussing the past.

"You always want to go in and look for the two points," goaltender Cam Talbot told the team's official website. "You never want to think about what's happened in the past. You just want to keep looking forward, and try to start a new streak of our own maybe.

"We have to come out flying. We know they're going to come out pretty hot in their own building, so we gotta match their intensity and their tempo and maybe weather the storm for the first five minutes and then go at them."

The rookie may be accustomed to that strategy considering he's started each time during the Rangers' three-game road winning streak, compiling a 1.95 GAA in the process.

That may be reason enough to have Talbot face the Canadiens for the first time. Henrik Lundqvist's struggles in Montreal are another. Lundqvist has lost four straight games there, racking up a 4.63 GAA.

Lundqvist made 25 saves in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to New Jersey, but drew some blame from coach Alain Vigneault for allowing a goal late in the second period on a backhand shot from a sharp angle after a dump in.

"It was an easy first man on the puck, but mind you it's a routine save," Vigneault.

Chris Kreider is giving the Rangers a jolt offensively, getting 10 points in 11 games since being recalled from Hartford of the AHL. The rookie left wing has three assists over the past two games, but no points in four meetings with the Canadiens.

Rick Nash may be nearing a return from a concussion suffered in a loss at San Jose on Oct. 8. He traveled with the team, but it's unclear if he'll be available.

"It's good. It's all positive," Nash said. "I'm doing more each day and everything is right on track now. Just gotta keep getting my legs underneath me, and feeling more in shape.

"It was four weeks of doing nothing."

Nash has seven points in nine career meetings with the Canadiens.

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