Rangers visit Montreal, take aim at eighth straight win

The New York Rangers haven't won eight in a row since the 75 season, but their last four trips to Montreal have yet to yield a win.

The Blueshirts hope to extend one streak and end another this evening as they visit the Canadiens and the Bell Centre.

New York has won all six of its games this month as it continues to put its 3-3-3 start in the rearview. A victory tonight by the Rangers would give them their first eight-game win streak since Dec. 27, 1974-Jan. 11, 1975.

It would also be New York's first win in Montreal since March 17, 2009. The Rangers, who are 1-4-2 in its last seven trips to the Bell Centre, did record a 5-3 home win over the Canadiens on Nov. 5, their second win over the club since getting outscored 16-5 over a five-game series losing streak. The Blueshirts have scored 11 goals in the two wins.

New York's victory over Montreal was the third on its current win streak that was extended on Tuesday with a 4-2 victory over the Islanders. Brad Richards scored the game-winner with under five minutes to play in the third and Ryan Callahan ended with a goal and an assist.

"We've been in situations these past seven games where we could have given the initiative back to them, but we've been taking care of things," said Richards.

Sean Avery and Steve Eminger also scored for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots in the opener of a four-game road trip.

Montreal was on a solid run of its own, going 3-0-1 in four games before a 4-3 defeat at the Islanders on Thursday. Max Pacioretty's fifth goal in seven games wasn't enough for the Habs, who got 29 saves from backup goaltender Peter Budaj.

Starter Carey Price was given the game off with Montreal playing on a second straight night.

Brian Gionta and Erik Cole also scored in the loss, while Tomas Plekanec had a pair of assists to give him nine helpers in the past seven games.

"The first 30 minutes especially, we gave them too many scoring chances and they've got people who are going to capitalize," Montreal head coach Jacques Martin said.

Defenseman Hal Gill missed his third game in a row with an unknown virus that required a hospital stay. He was released on Friday but is not expected to play in this game.