Rangers finally play home opener vs. Habs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season when they finally play their home opener in Monday's clash with Montreal Canadiens at a newly-renovated Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers opened 2013-14 on a nine-game road trip while the $1 billion renovation project was being completed at MSG. New York went 3-6-0 during the season-opening trip and capped the swing with a 3-2 overtime win Saturday in Detroit.

Derick Brassard scored on a breakaway with 12.9 seconds in overtime to lift the Rangers to a come-from-behind victory over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The victory ended a two-game slide which saw the Rangers score just one goal over consecutive losses to New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Benoit Pouliot assisted on Brassard's game-winner on Saturday and added a power-play goal earlier on to help the Rangers end their epic trek on a positive note. Mats Zuccarello also tallied for New York, while rookie goaltender Cameron Talbot notched his first career NHL win with a strong showing between the pipes.

Starting for a second straight outing with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined with an undisclosed injury, Talbot stopped 32-of-34 shots. Lundqvist is expected to start on Monday after going through his first full practice in a week on Saturday.

Although Lundqvist is set to return, the Rangers will not have captain Ryan Callahan or fellow forwards Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash on Monday, as all three players are on injured reserve.

New York was 16-6-2 at MSG during the lockout-shortened season of 2013. The club will be back on the road for Tuesday's game against the New York Islanders before playing four straight on home ice.

The Canadiens enter Monday having lost three of their last four games and they were dealt a 2-0 loss Saturday by the visiting San Jose Sharks, Logan Couture scored both goals and Antti Niemi turned away all 22 shots sent his way by the Habs.

Carey Price made 33 saves for the Canadiens, who had won four in a row before going 1-3-0 in their last four contests.

"They are a fast team. They played really well and managed the puck well. They don't give you a lot and play well defensively, but we were right there. We had our chances in the second. Their goalie made some good saves at the right times," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien.

Montreal hopes to get back on track on the road, where the club is 3-1-0 this season. The Habs are set to play three of their next four games as the guest.

Like the Rangers, Montreal is playing with a ton of injuries, and key offensive players Danny Briere and Max Pacioretty are among the hobbled Canadiens.

The Canadiens won all three encounters against the Rangers last season and have taken five of six and 10 of the past 13 meetings in this Original Six rivalry. The clubs have split the last six contests at MSG.