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Canadiens vs. Rangers: Game Thread, roster, lines, and how to watch

The Canadiens open the Bell Center for the first time this season to take on the New York Rangers.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens will introduce themselves to their fans tonight, 4 games into the season, finally the Habs will play their first game at the Bell Center. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30PM, but we all know the Canadiens are likely to put on an extensive pregame ceremony, one filled (for Habs fans at least) with in what in my opinion is always one of the best season-opening ceremonies in the league.

The Canadiens are ranked 1st in the Atlantic Division, 4th in goals scored (13) and 7th in goals against(6). The Rangers are 1st in the Metropolitan Division,  4th in goals scored (13) and 20th in goals against (10). Both teams have been struggling on the powerplay, with the Canadiens' man-advantage running at an efficiency of 12.5% and the Rangers' at 11.1%.

Yes, these teams are very similar in the results they've produced this year, however the Canadiens have been a better puck possession team than the Rangers in the first 4 games of the season, putting up 45 more shot attempts than the Rangers in as many games played. In fact, the Rangers are currently a negative puck-possession team at the moment with a Corsi For percentage of of 43.7 (meaning that 56.3% of the shot attempts produced in their games played this season have been against them), while the Canadiens sit 8th with a rating of 54.3%.

So early into the season, the rankings and stats are subject to big variations before everything evens out. But, based on what we've seen so far from the Habs, we can start to convince ourselves a little more each game that they are a legitimate contender. A loss tonight would be disappointing. Normally during a winning streak I'm cautious, thinking that they have to lose one sooner or later. I don't think that's the mentality in the Canadiens locker room. We'll see tonight.

The puck drops at 7:30PM EDT.

How To Watch:

In Canadiens region (French): RDS
In Canada (English): Sportsnet 360
In the Rangers' region: MSG
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller Alex Galchenyuk Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann David Desharnais Dale Weise
Brian Flynn Torrey Mitchell Devante Smith-Pelly
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu Tom Gilbert
Carey Price
Mike Condon

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Paul Byron
Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)

New York Rangers Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Rick Nash Derick Brassard Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider Derek Stepan Kevin Hayes
Viktor Stalberg Oscar Lindberg J.T. Miller
Emerson Etem Dominic Moore Jesper Fast
Left Defense
Right Defense
Ryan Mcdonagh Dan Girardi
Marc Staal Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle Kevin Klein
Henrik Lundqvist
Antii Raanta

Scratched: Jarret Stoll, Tanner Glass, Dylan McIlrath
Injuries: None

Check out the enemy over at Blueshirt Banter.