Rangers-Rick Nash: The Rangers star forward was a question mark Sunday night right up through warmups due to an unspecified health issue, but Nash not only played against the Caps, he helped the Blueshirts dominate the first period, assisted on Carl Hagelin's second-period goal, and then made a pretty pass to help set the stage for Derek Stepan's power play game-winning goal in the third period. Nash finished with a team-high eight shots on goal---five in the opening period---and extended his point-scoring streak to four consecutive games.And he impressed his teammates with his desire to get on the ice and play despite the unspecified physical issue. Though he has scored only three goals, Nash leads the team with 12 points and has come as advertised, a game-changer who imposes his will on pretty much every game the Rangers have played so far in 2013.
Canadiens-Brandon Prust: What more needs to be said about this extremely popular former Ranger who returns to MSG for the first time since signing a four-year free agent deal with the Canadiens this summer? Prust is a heart-and-soul player, who found his game in New York when given the chance to play by John Tortorella after his arrival in a trade from Calgary a few seasons ago. The grittiness, intensity, fighting ability and willingness, penalty killing skill, and shorthanded goals were met on equal terms by Prust's immense value in the dressing room as a great teammate---attributes he has taken with him to a Montreal club that is now in first place in its division. It will be an emotional night for Prust---who leads the NHL with 71 penalty minutes---and likely will be an evening when his gloves come off yet again in front of The Garden Faithful