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Game Preview: New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Mar. 13

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Monday, Mar. 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

  Rangers: 44-23-2 (90 pts)

Lightning: 32-26-9 (73 pts)

  * See the attached document for additional information on all Rangers players (Note: all statistics/rankings in the attached player profiles document reflect games ending on Mar. 11)

  TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 70th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tomorrow, Mar. 13, against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have won 13 of their last 19 games (13-5-1), as well as 16 of their last 24 contests (16-7-1). The Rangers have posted a 44-23-2 record this season.

  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 5:00 p.m.

*Schedule and availability subject to change

  RANGERS VS. LIGHTNING

  • All-Time: 47-35-5-7 (26-16-2-4 at home; 21-19-3-3 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow’s game is the third of three meetings between the Rangers and Lightning, and second of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Blueshirts have posted a 2-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) and defeated the Lightning, 1-0, in overtime on Mar. 6 in Tampa Bay. The Rangers have outscored the Lightning, 7-1, thus far in the season series. Michael Grabner (three goals), J.T. Miller (one goal, two assists) and Kevin Hayes (three assists) have each registered three points and a plus-four rating in the season series. Antti Raanta has posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 0.49 GAA, a .986 SV% (69 saves on 70 shots), and 1 SO in two appearances.
  • The Rangers have won each of their last four games against Tampa Bay (dating back to Dec. 30, 2015) and have outscored the Lightning, 15-5, in the four contests.
 

RANGERS-LIGHTNING CONNECTIONS

  • Tampa Bay has two former Rangers on its roster: Ryan Callahan (2006-07 – 2013-14) and Anton Stralman (2011-12 – 2013-14).
  • Alain Vigneault and Lightning Associate Coach Rick Bowness were members of the same coaching staff in Ottawa and Vancouver. Vigneault was an Assistant Coach on Bowness’ staff with the Senators for parts of four seasons (1992-93 – 1995-96), and Bowness was an Assistant Coach on Vigneault’s staff for seven seasons with the Canucks (2006-07 – 2012-13).
  • Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Tyler Johnson helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. LIGHTNING

  • Antti Raanta – 2 GP, 2-0-0, 0.49 GAA, .986 SV%, 1 SO – Raanta stopped all 38 shots he faced to earn a win and a shutout in his last appearance against the Lightning on Mar. 6, 2017 at Tampa Bay.
  • Derek Stepan – 22 GP, 8-10-18 – Stepan has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in his last eight games against the Lightning.
  • Rick Nash – 24 GP, 10-9-19 – Since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash has registered 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 14 games against the Lightning.
  • Michael Grabner – 17 GP, 9-3-12 – Grabner has tallied a goal in seven of 17 career games against Tampa Bay.
  • Ryan McDonagh – 16 GP, 0-12-12 – McDonagh has tallied at least one point in nine of 16 career games against Tampa Bay.
 

CAREER NIGHT

Several Rangers either established or tied single-game or single-season career-highs in tonight’s game against Detroit:

 

  • Kevin Hayes
o   Established single-season career-highs in assists (29) and points (46) o   Tied his single-season career-high in goals (17) o   Added to his single-season career-highs in shorthanded assists (six) and shorthanded points (seven)  
  • Chris Kreider
o   Established a single-season career-high in points (47)  
  • J.T. Miller
o   Added to his single-season career-highs in assists (31) and points (50)  
  • Antti Raanta
o   Established a single-season career-high in wins (14)  
  • Ryan McDonagh
o   Tied a single-game career-high in goals (two); posted the second multi-goal game of his career

  WINNING WAYS

The Rangers’ 44 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the 10th-most in one season in franchise history. In addition, the 44 wins are tied for the second-most the Rangers have earned through the first 69 games of a season in franchise history, and the only season in which the Blueshirts earned more wins through the first 69 games was 1971-72 (45). The Rangers are tied for the NHL lead in wins this season and lead the NHL in wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (188). The Rangers’ 188 wins are the most in any four-season span in franchise history.

  BACK-TO-BACK

The Rangers have posted a 9-2-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set thus far this season. In their last 93 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 62-25-6 record in the second game of the set.

  ONE AND WON

Since Jan. 7, 16 of the Rangers’ 28 games have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have earned at least one point in 12 of the last 13 games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 (11-1-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 20-8-2 record in one-goal games this season and rank second in the NHL in winning percentage in one-goal games in 2016-17 (.667).  

HOME COOKING

New York has earned at least one point in 70 of its last 100 regular season games at MSG, dating back to Dec. 21, 2014 (62-30-8 record).  

TWO GOOD

The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 15 of the last 24 games and in 41 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 35-4-2 record in those 41 contests in 2016-17.  

ON POINT

Blueshirts defensemen have tallied 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) over the last 15 games and a Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in eight of the 15 contests. Six different defensemen have recorded a goal over the span (Klein, Girardi, Holden, McDonagh, Clendening, and Skjei). A Rangers defenseman has notched a point on 15 of the team's last 23 goals.  

GOALS GALORE

The Rangers have tallied four or more goals in 31 games this season. The Blueshirts are one of three NHL teams that have registered at least four goals in 30 or more contests in 2016-17 (along with Pittsburgh and Washington). New York also ranks second in the NHL in games with five or more goals this season (18). Ten Rangers have registered 10 or more goals this season.

  AV SQUAD

Since Alain Vigneault was named the Rangers' Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blueshirts lead the NHL in wins (188). Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (501).  

KREID-ING HIGH

Chris Kreider has established career-highs in goals (26) and points (47) this season. He is tied for the team lead in goals and leads the Rangers in games with a goal in 2016-17 (22). Kreider is one of three NHL players who have recorded at least 26 goals and 100 hits this season (along with Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Simmonds). Kreider leads the Rangers in goals (15) and points (28) at home in 2016-17.

  CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh tied a single-game career-high with two goals tonight at Detroit. McDonagh is one of five NHL defensemen who have registered at least 20 primary assists this season. The Rangers captain is tied for third in the NHL - and is tied for first among NHL defensemen - in games with a plus/minus rating of even or better in 2016-17 (57).  

RAISE THE ANTTI

Antti Raanta has posted a 14-4-0 record, along with a 2.08 GAA, a .931 SV%, and 3 SO in 20 starts in 2016-17. He ranks seventh in the NHL in SV% (.924) and ranks eighth in the NHL in GAA (2.25) this season. In addition, Raanta has established career-highs in wins (14) and shutouts (three) in 2016-17. Since he joined the Rangers prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, Raanta has started the second game of the team's back-to-back set 14 times. In those 14 contests, he has posted a 9-3-1 record, along with a 1.89 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 2 SO. In 41 career appearances at home, Raanta has posted a 23-8-4 record, along with a 1.97 GAA, a .927 SV%, and 5 SO.  

HEY HEY HAYES

Kevin Hayes has established career-highs in assists (29), points (46), shorthanded assists (six), shorthanded points (seven), and game-winning goals (four) this season, and he has also tied his career-high in goals (17). Hayes leads the NHL in shorthanded assists and shorthanded points this season, and he is the first Ranger who has registered six shorthanded assists in one season since Mark Messier in 1996-97.

  STEP-AN UP

Derek Stepan has registered three points (one goal, two assists) and 14 shots on goal over the last two games. He leads the Rangers in primary assists (23), shots on goal (177), and power play points (14), ranks second on the team in assists (34), and is tied for second in points (47) this season.  

SKJEI HEY KID

Brady Skjei has registered 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) and a plus-13 rating in the last 24 games (since Jan. 19), and he is the only NHL player who has recorded at least 15 points and a plus-13 rating over the span. He ranks fourth among NHL defensemen in even strength assists this season (25), trailing only Duncan Keith, Erik Karlsson, and Brent Burns.  

IT'S MILLER TIME

J.T. Miller has established career-highs in assists (31), points (50), and game-winning goals (six) this season. He has registered a point in 21 of the last 32 games, recording 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) over the span. Miller is one of four NHL players who have registered at least 50 points and a plus-20 rating this season.  

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner is the only NHL player who has recorded at least 25 goals and a plus-25 rating this season.

  SPECIAL TEAMS

  Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:50) tonight at Detroit.
  • The Blueshirts are 4-for-8 (50.0%) on the power play over the last two games.
 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-4 (6:43) and tallied a shorthanded goal tonight at Detroit.
  • The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (nine).
 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Brandon Pirri - 2 points away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Brendan Smith - 3 games away from 300 in his NHL career
 

INJURIES (170 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Kevin Klein (back spasms) - has missed 10 games
  • Dan Girardi (ankle) - has missed seven games
  • Jesper Fast (upper-body) - has missed six games
  • Henrik Lundqvist (hip strain) - has missed two games
 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Mar. 11 - Recalled Magnus Hellberg from Hartford (AHL) on an emergency basis
  • Mar. 10 - Assigned Brandon Halverson to Greenville (ECHL)
  • Mar. 9 - Recalled Brandon Halverson from Greenville (ECHL) on an emergency basis
  • Mar. 8 - Agreed to terms with Sean Day on an entry-level contract
 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Mar. 13, 1954 – Camille Henry established a single-game franchise record by registering four power play goals as the Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2, in Detroit.

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