For the first time since 1996, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are set to collide in the playoffs, this time with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.
The Rangers rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win their second-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins; the Canadiens overcame a 3-2 series hole to eliminate the Boston Bruins.
The Canadiens took two of three from the Rangers in the regular season, including a 1-0 overtime win in the season finale for both teams that saw each club resting most of its key players.
This slideshow is a breakdown of this conference final series, featuring looks at players to watch, which matchup is the most one-sided and a glimpse at the terrific goaltending battle between Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist.
“There are not going to be many pretty goals in that series,” said Max Pacioretty, per Howie Kussoy of the New York Post. “Like any hot goalie, you have to take away his eyes and battle for rebounds. Dirty goals are goals that goalies can’t control. … That’s going to be part of our game plan.