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Game Preview: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, Dec. 16

Game Preview: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, Dec. 16

NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, 5:00 p.m. ET

TD Garden – Boston, MA

 

Rangers: 17-12-3 (37 pts)

Bruins: 15-10-4 (34 pts)

 

* See the attached document for additional information on all Rangers players (Note: statistics included in the attached player profiles document are reflective of games completed on Dec. 14)

 

The New York Rangers’ 2017-18 Media Guide can be found via the following link: https://nhl.bamcontent.com/images/assets/binary/291105024/binary-file/file.pdf

 

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 33rd game of the 2017-18 season and conclude a back-to-back set tomorrow, Dec. 16, against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six matchup at TD Garden (5:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG+ 2; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). New York has earned a win in eight of its last 12 games (8-3-1 record), and the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 42-27, over the last 12 games. The Blueshirts have won 14 of their last 20 games (14-5-1 record) and 16 of their last 24 contests (16-7-1 record). In addition, the Rangers have earned at least one point in 19 of their last 26 games (16-7-3 record).

 

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE

The Rangers will not have a morning skate prior to tomorrow’s contest. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media at 3:00 p.m.

*Schedule and availability subject to change

 

RANGERS VS. BRUINS

  • All-Time: 256-289-97-2 (148-121-55-0 at home; 108-168-42-2 on the road)
  • 2017-18: Tomorrow’s game is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Bruins, and the only meeting between the two teams at Boston. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following their 4-2 win on Nov. 8 at MSG. Jimmy Vesey registered two goals in a span of 29 seconds in the first period, while Pavel Buchnevich (one goal, one assist) and Ryan McDonagh (two assists) each registered two points in the contest. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 of 33 shots he faced to earn a win in the contest. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers and Bruins will play against each other on the following date: Feb. 7 (at MSG).
  • The Rangers have played more regular season games (644) and have earned more regular season wins (256) against the Bruins than against any other opponent in their 91-season history.
  • The Blueshirts have earned a win in each of their last six games against Boston, dating back to Jan. 11, 2016, and the Rangers have outscored the Bruins, 23-10, in the six contests. New York has won at least six consecutive games against Boston for the first time since an eight-game winning streak from Nov. 20, 2005 to Mar. 24, 2007.
  • Since Mar. 24, 2007, 25 of the 37 meetings between the Rangers and Bruins have been decided by one goal, and eight of those contests have been decided in either overtime or a shootout. In addition, 31 of the 37 meetings over the span have been decided by two or fewer goals.

 

 RANGERS-BRUINS CONNECTIONS

  • Steven Kampfer began his NHL career with the Bruins and played parts of two seasons with Boston (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Jeff Gorton spent 15 seasons in the Bruins organization and served as Boston’s Interim General Manager in 2006. During Gorton’s tenure as Interim General Manager, Boston selected Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, acquired Tuukka Rask in a trade, and signed Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard as free agents.
  • Jake DeBrusk is the son of Louie DeBrusk, who was selected by the Rangers in the third round (49th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Louie DeBrusk was traded by the Rangers to Edmonton as part of the trade in which the Blueshirts acquired Mark Messier.
  • The Rangers have four Massachusetts natives on their roster: Paul Carey (Boston, MA), Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, MA), Chris Kreider (Boxford, MA), and Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, MA). All four played college hockey in Massachusetts (Carey, Hayes, and Kreider played at Boston College, and Vesey played at Harvard University).
  • Charlie McAvoy is a native of Long Beach, New York. He grew up a Rangers fan and idolized Brian Leetch.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk played college hockey at Boston University for three seasons (2007-08 – 2009-10).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and David Backes were teammates with the Blues for parts of six seasons (2010-11 – 2015-16).
  • Ondrej Pavelec and Paul Postma were teammates with the Thrashers/Jets franchise for parts of seven seasons (2010-11 – 2016-17).
  • Rick Nash and Patrice Bergeron helped Canada win a gold medal at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Sean Kuraly helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Marc Staal and Brad Marchand helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and David Backes all represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Marc Staal and Adam McQuaid were teammates with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for four seasons (2003-04 – 2006-07).
  • Boo Nieves and Noel Acciari were teammates at Kent School, a prep school in Connecticut, for one season (2010-11).
  • Boo Nieves and Sean Kuraly were teammates with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL) for part of one season (2011-12).
  • Brady Skjei, Matt Grzelcyk, and Frank Vatrano helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World U18 Championship. Skjei and Vatrano also represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, while Skjei and Grzelcyk also represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Jimmy Vesey and Torey Krug helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Ondrej Pavelec and David Krejci have represented the Czech Republic in several tournaments, and were teammates at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BRUINS

  • Henrik Lundqvist – 40 GP, 26-12-2, 1.93 GAA, .936 SV%, 6 SO – Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last five appearances against Boston, posting a 1.60 GAA and a .953 SV% (161 saves on 169 shots) over the span.
  • Ondrej Pavelec – 17 GP, 6-7-2, 2.95 GAA, .912 SV% – Pavelec has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his last six appearances against the Bruins (3-2-1 record, 2.14 GAA, .925 SV% over the span).
  • David Desharnais – 32 GP, 8-16-24 – Desharnais has played in more games, and has registered more goals, assists, and points in his career against Boston than against any other NHL opponent. He has tallied a point in 11 of his last 16 games against the Bruins (four goals, eight assists over the span).
  • Rick Nash – 25 GP, 9-8-17 – Nash has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games against Boston. He has recorded a point in seven of the last nine games against Boston (six goals, three assists over the span), and he has also registered a goal in six of the nine contests.
  • Mika Zibanejad – 22 GP, 6-5-11 – Zibanejad has notched a point in seven of his last nine games against the Bruins (four goals, three assists), and he has tallied a goal in four of the nine contests.
  • Michael Grabner – 23 GP, 7-4-11 – Grabner has recorded six points (three goals, three assists) in his last 11 games against Boston.
  • Ryan McDonagh – 22 GP, 3-5-8 – McDonagh has recorded five assists/points in the last seven games against the Bruins.
  • J.T. Miller – 11 GP, 3-4-7 – Miller has notched six points (two goals, four assists) in the last eight games against Boston.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – 11 GP, 3-4-7 – Shattenkirk has registered a point in three of his last five games against the Bruins (two goals, one assist).
  • Jimmy Vesey – 4 GP, 3-2-5 – Vesey has tallied a point in three of four career games against the Bruins, and he has posted two multi-point games against Boston.
  • Pavel Buchnevich – 3 GP, 3-1-4 – Buchnevich has registered a goal/point in each of his three career games against Boston, and he tallied his first career NHL goal on Nov. 5, 2016 at Boston.

 

RANGERS CONNECTIONS (IN ADDITION TO CURRENTLY PLAYING WITH THE BLUESHIRTS)

  • Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk have represented the United States together in several tournaments, including the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2011 IIHF World Championship, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championship. McDonagh, Shattenkirk, and Chris Kreider were all teammates with Team USA at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Brendan Smith were all selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh – 12th overall by Montreal; Shattenkirk – 14th overall by Colorado; Smith – 27th overall by Detroit).
  • Ryan McDonagh and Brendan Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for three seasons (2007-08 – 2009-10).
  • Paul Carey, Chris Kreider, and Kevin Hayes were all teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) and helped Boston College win the National Championship in 2011-12; Carey and Kreider were teammates for three seasons (2009-10 – 2011-12) and helped Boston College win two National Championships (2009-10 and 2011-12).
  • Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey were friends growing up in Massachusetts.
  • J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Michael Grabner’s first head coach in the NHL was Alain Vigneault (2009-10 with Vancouver).
  • Paul Carey and Nick Holden were teammates with Colorado for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Paul Carey and Kevin Shattenkirk were teammates with Washington for part of one season (2016-17).
  • Nick Holden and Rick Nash were teammates with Columbus for part of one season (2010-11).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch.

 

BACK-TO-BACK

The Rangers conclude their fourth of 11 back-to-back sets during the 2017-18 season tomorrow. The Blueshirts have posted a 2-1-0 record in the second game of back-to-back sets thus far this season. New York’s 11 back-to-back sets this season are tied for the fewest among Eastern Conference teams. Since the start of last season, the Rangers have posted a 13-6-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set. In their last 101 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 66-29-6 record in the second game of the set.

 

GOALS GALORE

The Rangers have registered at least three goals in 19 of the last 26 games, as well as four or more goals (including team goals awarded for a shootout win) in 16 of those contests (92 goals; 91 in regulation/overtime). The Blueshirts have tallied four or more goals in six of the last nine games (31 goals) and in seven of the last 11 contests (39 goals).

 

RESILIENT RANGERS

The Rangers have outscored their opponents, 46-32, when trailing in a game this season. The Blueshirts have recorded more goals when trailing than any other NHL team this season, and the team’s plus-14 goal differential when trailing is also the best in the NHL. The Rangers have outscored their opponents, 16-7, when trailing over the last 10 games.

 

MAKING THE DIFFERENCE

The Blueshirts have posted a plus-11 goal differential this season, which is the best among Metropolitan Division teams and ranks third among all Eastern Conference teams.

 

ROAD WARRIORS

The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL – and lead Eastern Conference teams – in road wins since the start of last season (31). New York also ranks second in the NHL – and leads Eastern Conference teams – in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (103).

 

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 7-2-0 record, along with a 2.15 GAA, a .933 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 10 appearances. Lundqvist has started both games of a back-to-back set 80 times in his NHL career. In the second game of those 80 back-to-back sets, Lundqvist has posted a 52-21-7 record, along with a 2.02 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 9 SO. In addition, Lundqvist has posted a 7-0-0 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .948 SV%, and 1 SO in the second game of the last seven back-to-back sets in which he has started both contests.

 

40/40 CLUB

Ondrej Pavelec has made at least 40 saves in each of his last two appearances (Dec. 5 at Pittsburgh and Dec. 11 vs. Dallas). He made a season-high 44 saves and was selected as the game’s First Star in his last appearance on Dec. 11 vs. Dallas. Pavelec is the first Rangers goaltender who has made 40 or more saves in two consecutive appearances since Dan Blackburn in 2001-02. He has stopped 85 of 89 shots he has faced over his last two appearances (.955 SV%).

 

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner ranks third in the NHL in even strength goals (15), only trailing Nikita Kucherov (19) and Alex Ovechkin (16). Grabner is tied for ninth in the NHL – and leads the Rangers – in goals in 2017-18 (15).

 

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello has tallied a point in nine of the last 12 games (four goals, eight assists, plus-10 rating), and he has recorded 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) and a plus-13 rating in the last 20 contests. He leads the Rangers in assists (19) and points (26) this season.

 

CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh ranks among NHL defensemen in even strength assists this season (14), trailing only John Klingberg (16). McDonagh leads Rangers defensemen in assists (17) and plus/minus rating (plus-10) in 2017-18.

 

IT’S MILLER TIME

J.T. Miller leads the Rangers in assists (nine) and points (11) on the road this season. In addition, Miller has registered 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) and a plus-11 rating in 21 games against Eastern Conference opponents in 2017-18; he leads the Rangers in assists and points, and he is tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating against Eastern Conference opponents. 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-3 (5:25) tonight vs. Los Angeles.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for ninth in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (20.4%; 21-for-103).

 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-1 (2:00) tonight vs. Los Angeles.
  • New York ranks ninth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (83.0%; 83-for-100).
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in each of the last five games (13-for-13) and in six of the last seven games (17-for-18; 94.4%).
  • The Rangers have killed off 53 of their opponents’ last 60 power play opportunities (88.3%).

 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Nick Holden – 1 point away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Ryan McDonagh – 5 games away from 500 in his NHL career
  • Mats Zuccarello – 5 assists away from 200 in his NHL career

 

INJURIES (22 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Mika Zibanejad (concussion) – has missed eight games

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None

 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Dec. 16, 1956 – Andy Bathgate registered his first career NHL hat trick, and tallied two goals in the final minute of the game, as the Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-2, at MSG.

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