There’s no sentiment in hockey.

For when Brandon Prust, a heart-and-soul Ranger who was one of John Tortorella’s favorite players during the winger’s stint on Broadway, returns to the Garden tonight wearing the Canadiens’ No. 8, this is what the coach yesterday said he will see:

“A guy in a Montreal uniform.”

Prust was more than a guy in a Rangers uniform for his two-plus years here before leaving as a free agent last summer when the Canadiens came through with a staggering four-year, $10 million offer that connotes his perceived value as a teammate.

This is the winner of the 2010-11 Steven McDonald Award for extra effort. This is the individual who sacrificed his body for teammates, who would engage in fisticuffs at the drop of a glove, often initiating as early as possible against as tough an opponent within reach in order to energize his team.

“He’s a funny guy, a good player who helped us a lot on the penalty kill and who takes a lot of pain for the group,” said Henrik Lundqvist. “What stands out to me is how hard he works and how he puts his body on the line for the team.

“I respect that a lot. He has a big heart.”