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Game Preview: New York Rangers vs Montreal Canadians Feb. 21

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

 

Rangers: 38-19-1 (77 pts)

Canadiens: 31-20-8 (70 pts)

 

* See the attached document for additional information on all Rangers players

 

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 59th game of the 2016-17 season tomorrow, Feb. 21, against the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have won seven of their last eight games (7-1-0), as well as 10 of their last 13 contests (10-3-0). The Rangers have posted a 38-19-1 record this season.

 

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Prior to tomorrow’s contest, Rangers extras will skate at 10:30 a.m. at Madison Square Garden. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media at 11:15 a.m.

*Schedule and availability subject to change

 

RANGERS VS. CANADIENS

  • All-Time: 194-329-94-4 (128-126-54-1 at home; 66-203-40-3 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow’s game is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), as the Canadiens defeated the Blueshirts, 5-4, on Jan. 14 at Montreal. Following tomorrow’s contest, the Rangers and Canadiens will play against each other on the following date: Mar. 4 (at MSG).
  • Eight of the last 12 meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens have resulted in a shutout for one of the two teams.

 

RANGERS-CANADIENS CONNECTIONS

  • Ryan McDonagh was selected by Montreal in the first round (12th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Al Montoya was selected by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Alain Vigneault began his NHL head coaching career with the Canadiens in 1997-98. Vigneault served as Montreal’s Head Coach for parts of four seasons (1997-98 – 2000-01).
  • Benoit Allaire served as Goaltending Coach with the Canadiens for one season (1996-97).
  • J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Alex Galchenyuk helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Kevin Klein and Shea Weber were teammates with Nashville for parts of nine seasons (2005-06 – 2013-14).

 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CANADIENS

  • Henrik Lundqvist – 33 GP, 14-16-2, 2.87 GAA, .897 SV%, 2 SO – Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six appearances against Montreal at MSG, dating back to Mar. 30, 2012.
  • Derek Stepan – 20 GP, 3-10-13 – Stepan has notched 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his last 16 games against Montreal.
  • Chris Kreider – 12 GP, 2-3-5 – Kreider has registered five points (two goals, three assists) in his last six games against the Canadiens.
  • Rick Nash – 17 GP, 6-4-10 – Nash has recorded a goal in two of his last three games against Montreal, as well as in three of his last six contests against the Canadiens.

 

WINNING WAYS

The Rangers’ 38 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the most the team has earned through the first 58 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 38 wins through the first 58 games of a season four times in franchise history (1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17). The Rangers rank third in the NHL in wins this season and are the only NHL team that has earned at least 19 wins both at home and on the road thus far in 2016-17.

 

HOME COOKING

The Blueshirts have won each of their last five home games, dating back to Feb. 5 vs. Calgary, and have outscored their opponents, 18-10, in the five contests. Over their last 100 regular season games at Madison Square Garden (dating back to Nov. 23, 2014), the Rangers have posted a 65-28-7 record (.685 points percentage).

 

ONE AND WON

Ten of the Rangers’ last 17 games have been decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 7 at Columbus. The Rangers have won each of the last seven games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 at Detroit. The Blueshirts have posted a 16-7-1 record in one-goal games this season. The Rangers have posted the best winning percentage in the NHL in one-goal games this season (.667).

 

GOALS GALORE

New York ranks second in the NHL in goals (196 – includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and is tied for second in the NHL in goals per game (3.34) this season. The Rangers have recorded 81 goals over the last 23 games, registering at least four goals in 14 of the 23 contests.

 

40/40 CLUB

Five Rangers have tallied at least 40 points this season (Miller, Zuccarello, Hayes, Stepan, and Kreider), and the Blueshirts are one of four NHL teams that have five or more players who have recorded at least 40 points this season.

 

ON POINT

Rangers defensemen have tallied 10 points (five goals, five assists) over the last four games, and at least one Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in each of the four contests (Klein – Feb. 11 vs. Colorado; Girardi – Feb. 13 at Columbus; Holden – Feb. 16 at NY Islanders; McDonagh – Feb. 19 vs. Washington).

 

TWO GOOD

The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in nine of the last 13 games and in 35 of 58 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 30-4-1 record in those 35 contests in 2016-17.

 

THIRD PERIOD TALLIES

The Blueshirts lead the NHL in third period goals in 2016-17 (81) and are the only NHL team that has recorded at least 80 goals in any period thus far this season.

 

FABULOUS FEBRUARY

The Rangers have posted a 27-6-3 record in 36 games in February since the start of the 2014-15 season, including a 7-1-0 record in games in February this season.

 

AV SQUAD

Alain Vigneault earned his 182nd career win as the Rangers’ Head Coach on Feb. 19 vs. Washington, passing Frank Boucher for sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time wins list among head coaches. Since he was named the Rangers’ Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL – and lead the Eastern Conference – in wins.

 

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist earned his 400th career NHL win on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, becoming the 12th goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 career wins, as well as the first goaltender to earn 400 wins with the Rangers. Lundqvist, who earned his 400th career NHL win in his 727th career NHL appearance, became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to accomplish the feat. He also became the second goaltender in NHL history to earn all of his first 400 career wins with one franchise (Brodeur – NJD). Lundqvist is one win away from passing Chris Osgood for sole possession of 11th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. He has posted a 9-2-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA, a .937 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 12 appearances. Lundqvist is the only goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 20 wins in each of his first 12 seasons, and his 12 consecutive 20-win seasons are tied for the most in NHL history.

 

IT’S MILLER TIME

J.T. Miller has registered a point in 17 of the last 21 games, tallying 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) over the span, and he posted two, seven-game point streaks during the stretch. Miller has established career-highs in assists (28), points (46), and game-winning goals (six) in 2016-17, and he leads the Rangers in points this season.

 

KREID-ING HIGH

Chris Kreider has recorded 22 goals this season, which is his career-high, and he is the only Ranger who has recorded at least 20 goals in each of the last three seasons (2014-15 – 2016-17). He has also recorded at least 40 points in each of the last three seasons. Kreider is tied for fifth in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1, 2016 (18). He has tallied 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 28 games at MSG this season, and he leads the team in goals and points at home.

 

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (25), ranks eighth in plus/minus rating (plus-28), and ranks 10th in goals (26) this season. Grabner is the only player among the NHL’s top 10 goal scorers this season who changed teams via free agency during the offseason prior to the start of 2016-17. Grabner leads the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per 60 minutes of ice time this season (1.96).

 

HEY HEY HAYES

Kevin Hayes has notched a point in four of six games since returning from injury, recording seven points (two goals, five assists) over the span. He leads the NHL in shorthanded assists (five) and shorthanded points (six) this season, and he is the first Ranger who has tallied at least five shorthanded assists in one season since Mark Messier in 1996-97.

 

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello has recorded 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in the last 25 games, and he has registered a point in 18 of the 25 contests. He leads the Rangers in assists (31) and ranks second in points (43) this season.

 

CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh leads the Rangers in average ice time this season (24:20), and he leads team defensemen in assists (30) and points (33) in 2016-17. McDonagh ranks seventh among NHL defensemen in games with an assist (26) and is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in games with a point (28) this season.

 

SKJEI HEY KID

Brady Skjei has tallied 21 even strength assists this season, becoming the first Rangers defenseman to tally at least 20 even strength assists in his rookie season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. He is one of seven NHL defensemen who have recorded at least 20 even strength assists in 2016-17. Skjei leads NHL rookies in even strength assists (21) and ranks fourth among NHL rookies in assists (25) this season.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-2 (4:00) on Feb. 19 vs. Washington.
  • The Blueshirts rank 15th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (19.9%; 34-for-171).

 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-2 (3:41) on Feb. 19 vs. Washington.
  • New York has not allowed a PPG against in nine of the last 13 games, including three of the last four games.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in SHG in 2016-17 (eight).

 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Derek Stepan – 8 games away from 500 in his NHL career/as a Ranger

 

INJURIES (137 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • None

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None

 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Feb. 20, 1972 – Jean Ratelle became the first player in Rangers history to tally 100 points in a season, accomplishing the feat as the Blueshirts defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, at MSG.
  • Feb. 20, 1989 – Tony Granato registered two goals, including his 34th goal of the 1988-89 season, to establish franchise record for goals by a rookie. The Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 7-4, at MSG.
  • Feb. 21, 1946 – After holding the post for close to 20 years, Lester Patrick resigned as the Rangers’ General Manager and Frank Boucher was named as his replacement.
  • Feb. 21, 1981 – Don Maloney recorded the fastest hat trick in franchise history, registering three goals in a span of 2:30 to help the Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals, 6-4, at MSG. Maloney tied a single-game franchise record by tallying two shorthanded goals in the contest.
  • Feb. 21, 1997 – Mark Messier registered his 500th career point as a member of the Rangers, becoming the third player in NHL history to tally at least 500 points with two different franchises (Edmonton and the Rangers). The other two players were Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton and Los Angeles) and Ron Francis (Hartford* and Pittsburgh) *Hartford moved to Carolina in 1997-98

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