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New York Rangers Game 6 Preview

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

 

Rangers: 6-5 (2-3)*

Senators: 7-4 (3-2)*

 

* 2017 Playoffs Record (Second Round Series Record)

 

 

The New York Rangers 2017 Playoff Guide (Second Round Edition) can be found via the following link: https://nhl.bamcontent.com/images/assets/binary/289059012/binary-file/file.pdf

 

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow, May 9, at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET – TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Rangers trail the best-of-seven series, three games to two, following the Senators’ 5-4 overtime win in Game 5 of the series in Ottawa on May 6.

 

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Prior to tomorrow’s contest, Rangers extras will skate at 10:30 a.m. at Madison Square Garden. Select Rangers players and Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media beginning at approximately 10:40 a.m.

*Schedule and availability subject to change

 

RANGERS VS. SENATORS – PLAYOFF HISTORY

The Rangers are facing the Senators in a playoff series for the second time in franchise history*. The two teams played against each other in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2012, and New York defeated Ottawa, four games to three. The Rangers rallied from a three-games-to-two deficit in the series to win Game 6 in Ottawa and close out the series with a 2-1 win in Game 7 at MSG, which was the Rangers’ first win in a Game 7 since the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver. Six players currently on the Rangers roster were also on the roster when the team faced Ottawa in 2012: Dan Girardi, Chris Kreider, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, and Derek Stepan. Lundqvist posted a 4-3 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .945 SV%, and 1 SO against Ottawa during the 2012 Playoffs. He stopped 205 of 217 shots in the series, including 26 of 27 shots he faced in Game 7, and allowed two goals or fewer in five of the seven contests. Staal and Girardi each tallied a goal in Game 7 of the series, and Girardi registered the game-winning goal in the contest. Girardi recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the seven-game series. Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the series in Ottawa on Apr. 16, 2012, which was less than a week after he signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Apr. 10, 2012. Kreider tallied his first goal/point in the NHL in Game 6 of the series, and the goal was the game-winning goal in the contest.

 

* The Rangers played the defunct Ottawa Senators in the playoffs in 1930 (the original Senators played in the NHL from 1917-18 – 1933-34). New York won a two-game, total-goals Quarterfinals series, 6-3.

 

RANGERS-SENATORS CONNECTIONS

  • Alain Vigneault’s first coaching staff position in the NHL was as an Assistant Coach with the Senators. Vigneault joined the Senators for their first NHL season in 1992-93 and was a member of Ottawa’s coaching staff for parts of four seasons (1992-93 – 1995-96).
  • Mika Zibanejad played parts of five seasons with the Senators (2011-12 – 2015-16). He established career-highs in games played (81), goals (21), assists (30), and points (51) during his final season with Ottawa in 2015-16.
  • Matt Puempel played parts of three seasons with Ottawa (2014-15 – 2016-17), and he was selected by the Senators in the first round (24th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers claimed Puempel off waivers from Ottawa on Nov. 21, 2016.
  • Derick Brassard played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2012-13 – 2015-16).
  • Viktor Stalberg played one season with the Rangers (2015-16).
  • Tom Pyatt was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Pyatt was traded by the Rangers to Montreal as part of the deal in which the Blueshirts acquired the rights to Ryan McDonagh on June 30, 2009.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Brendan Smith, and Kyle Turris were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2007-08).
  • Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Marc Methot were all teammates with the Blue Jackets for parts of five seasons (2007-08 – 2011-12). All three players were coached by Rangers Associate Coach Scott Arniel, who was the Blue Jackets Head Coach for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Dan Girardi and Marc Methot were teammates with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for part of one season (2004-05) and helped London win the Memorial Cup.
  • Alexandre Burrows was coached by Alain Vigneault for seven seasons in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks (2006-07 – 2012-13), as well as part of one season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Manitoba Moose (2005-06).
  • Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion served as an Amateur Scout with the Rangers for two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07).
  • Tanner Glass and Craig Anderson were teammates with the Panthers for parts of two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09).
  • Steven Kampfer and Chris Kelly were teammates with the Bruins for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Michael Grabner and Dion Phaneuf were teammates with the Maple Leafs for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Kevin Klein and Viktor Stalberg were teammates with the Predators for part of one season (2013-14).
  • Marc Staal and Tom Pyatt are both natives of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

 

RANGERS VS. SENATORS NOTES

  • Six of the eight meetings between the Rangers and Senators in 2016-17 have been decided by two or fewer goals.
  • The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in eight of their last 14 meetings against the Senators (regular season and playoffs), dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SENATORS (Statistics are only from playoff games)

  • Henrik Lundqvist – 12 GP, 6-6, 2.16 GAA, .929 SV%, 1 SO – Lundqvist has posted a 4-2 record, along with a 1.50 GAA and a .947 SV% in six career playoff home games against Ottawa.
  • Derek Stepan – 12 GP, 2-6-8 – Stepan has recorded six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games against the Senators in 2016-17 (regular season and playoffs).
  • Ryan McDonagh – 12 GP, 2-3-5 – McDonagh has notched eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last six games against Ottawa (regular season and playoffs), as well as 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his last 10 contests against Ottawa.

 

STAYIN’ ALIVE

The Rangers have won 15 of the last 20 playoff games in which they have faced elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa in 2012. The Blueshirts have won nine of 12 playoff games in which they have faced elimination since the start of the 2014 Playoffs. In addition, the Rangers have won 10 of their last 11 playoff games in which they have faced elimination at MSG, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Pittsburgh in 2008.

 

LEADING THE WAY

Over 329:22 of game time through the first five contests of the Second Round, the Rangers have led for 179:52, have been tied for 136:20, and have trailed for 13:10. The Blueshirts have recorded the first goal of the game in all five contests thus far in the Second Round. In addition, the Rangers have not trailed at home thus far in the series.

 

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

The Rangers have won eight of the last 11 playoff games they have played when trailing in a series, dating back to Game 5 of the Second Round against Washington in 2015.

 

FOUR SCORE

New York has tallied four or more goals in each of the last four games, registering 17 goals over the span. The Blueshirts have recorded at least four goals in four or more consecutive playoff games for the first time since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the NY Islanders in 1994 through Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Washington in 1994 (six consecutive games). In addition, the Rangers have registered four or more goals in four straight games in the same playoff series for the first time since the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1994 against the NY Islanders (all four games during the series). The Rangers rank fourth in the NHL in goals per game in the playoffs this year (2.91).

 

FINISHING STRONG

The Rangers have posted a 13-4 record in the last 17 contests which were either Game 6 or Game 7 of a playoff series, dating back to the start of the 2012 Playoffs. In addition, the Blueshirts have posted an 8-1 record in the last nine contests which were either Game 6 or Game 7 of a playoff series, dating back to Game 7 of the First Round against Philadelphia in 2014.

 

HOME COOKING

New York has won each of its last four home games, outscoring its opponents, 13-4, over the span. The Rangers have allowed one goal in each of the four contests. In addition, the Blueshirts have outscored the Senators, 8-2, in two games at MSG in the Second Round this year.

 

WINNING WAYS

The Rangers are the only NHL team that has won at least one playoff series in five different seasons over the last six seasons (since 2011-12). In addition, the Rangers have earned at least one playoff series win in a best-of-seven series in five years over a six-year span for the second time in franchise history (the Blueshirts also accomplished the feat from 1992 – 1997).

 

PLAYOFF PERFORMERS

The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (92), and the Blueshirts also lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (46) and playoff series wins (nine) over the span. The only NHL team that has earned more playoff wins than the Rangers have over the span is Chicago (48), and the only NHL teams that have won more playoff series than the Rangers have over the span are Chicago and Los Angeles (10 each).

 

TWO GOOD

The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in six of the last eight games and in seven of 11 playoff games in 2017. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in each of its six playoff wins in 2017 and in 29 of its 31 playoff wins since the start of the 2014 Playoffs.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

All of the top five Rangers in playoff games played in franchise history (skaters and goaltenders included) are on the current roster: Henrik Lundqvist (127), Dan Girardi (121), Marc Staal (103), Derek Stepan (96), and Ryan McDonagh (95).

 

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Two Blueshirts rookies have each tallied at least five points in the playoffs this year (Brady Skjei and Jimmy Vesey). Two Rangers rookies have registered five points in the same playoff year for only the second time over the last 30 seasons (since 1986-87); the other year was 2015 (Jesper Fast and Kevin Hayes).

 

SECOND HELPING

Through 11 playoff games in 2017, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 15-6, in the second period.

 

AV SQUAD

Alain Vigneault earned his sixth playoff series win as the Rangers’ Head Coach in the First Round against Montreal, and he passed Emile Francis for sole possession of second place among Rangers head coaches in career playoff series wins. In addition, Vigneault has earned more series wins in best-of-seven series than any other head coach in franchise history. Vigneault has earned 31 career playoff wins as the Rangers’ Head Coach, trailing only Francis (34) and Lester Patrick (32) in career playoff wins among head coaches in franchise history.

 

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 15-5 record, along with a 1.74 GAA, a .945 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 20 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa in 2012. In the 12 games which the Rangers have faced elimination since the start of the 2014 Playoffs, Lundqvist has posted a 9-3 record, along with a 1.92 GAA and a .943 SV%. Lundqvist has also posted a 10-1 record, along with a 1.05 GAA, a .965 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 11 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination at MSG, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Pittsburgh in 2008, and he has allowed one goal or fewer in nine of the 11 contests. In his last four appearances at home (since Game 4 of the First Round against Montreal), Lundqvist has posted a 4-0 record, along with a 1.00 GAA and a .961 SV% (98 saves on 102 shots).

 

CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh has notched seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last eight games, including six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six contests. He is tied for third among NHL defensemen in assists (five) and is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in points (seven) in the 2017 Playoffs. In addition, McDonagh is tied for the team lead in points in the 2017 Playoffs. McDonagh ranks seventh in the NHL in average ice time in the playoffs this year (27:16). The Rangers captain tallied his 40th career playoff point in Game 4 vs. Ottawa, becoming the fourth defenseman in franchise history to accomplish the feat (along with Brian Leetch, Ron Greschner, and Brad Park).

 

SKJEI HEY KID

Brady Skjei posted his first career NHL multi-goal game (regular season or playoffs) by tallying two goals in Game 2 at Ottawa. He became the first Rangers defenseman to register at least two goals in a playoff game since Brian Leetch in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Philadelphia in 1995. Skjei is tied for first among NHL defensemen in goals in the playoffs this year (four), and his four goals are tied for the most a Rangers rookie defenseman has tallied in one year in the playoffs in franchise history (Ruotsalainen – 1982).

 

MIKA MAGIC

Mika Zibanejad leads the Rangers in assists (six) and is tied for the team lead in points (seven) in the playoffs this year. He is tied for ninth in the NHL in assists in the 2017 Playoffs. Zibanejad has recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in the last seven games.

 

STEP-AN UP

Derek Stepan enters the contest with a four-game point streak (one goal, three assists), including a three-game assist streak. He is tied with Steve Vickers and Ron Greschner for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time playoff points list (49). Stepan has skated in 96 career playoff games with the Rangers, which is more than any other forward has played with the Blueshirts in franchise history.

 

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner enters the contest with a four-game point streak (two goals, two assists), and he has tallied 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his last 17 playoff games. Grabner has established playoff career-highs in games played (11), goals (four), and points (six) this year, and he is tied for the team lead in goals in the 2017 Playoffs.

 

FAST FACTS

Jesper Fast tied a single-game playoff career-high with two points (one goal, one assist) in Game 5 at Ottawa. He leads the NHL in shorthanded points (two), and he is tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals (one) and shorthanded assists (one) in the playoffs this year. In addition, Fast has tied playoff career-highs in goals (three), assists (three), and points (six) in the 2017 Playoffs (he also recorded three goals, three assists, and six points during the playoffs in 2015). In each of the last two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17), Fast has received the Players’ Player Award, which is given annually to the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player”.

 

KREID-ING HIGH

Chris Kreider has registered 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 19 career playoff games in which the Rangers have faced elimination, and he tallied his first career NHL playoff goal/point when the Rangers faced elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa on Apr. 23, 2012. Kreider is tied with Anders Hedberg, Don Maloney, and Vic Hadfield for seventh place on the franchise’s all-time playoff goals list (22), and he is tied for eighth in the NHL in playoff goals since the start of the 2012 Playoffs. Kreider is also tied for second in career playoff game-winning goals with the Rangers (six); he is tied with Brian Leetch, Frank Boucher, and Bill Cook, and he only trails Mark Messier (seven).

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Blueshirts have either outscored or tied their opponent in special teams scoring in 10 of 11 playoff contests this year.

 

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-3 (5:37) in Game 5 at Ottawa.
  • New York has recorded a power play goal in three of the last six games.

 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (5:37) in Game 5 at Ottawa.
  • New York leads all remaining teams in the playoffs in penalty kill efficiency during the 2017 Playoffs (88.9%; 32-for-36).
  • The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal in each of the last four games (12-for-12).
  • Dating back to the regular season, New York has not allowed a power play goal in 12 of its last 16 games (43-for-48; 89.6%).
  • The Rangers lead the NHL in SHG in the 2017 Playoffs (three).

 

INJURIES (0 Man-Games Lost to Injury in Playoffs)

  • None

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None

 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • May 8, 1958 – Camille Henry was named the winner of the NHL’s Lady Byng Trophy for the 1957-58 season.
  • May 8, 1979 – The Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final by defeating the New York Islanders, 2-1, in Game 6 of the Semifinals at MSG. Ron Greschner tallied the game-winning goal.
  • May 8, 1995 – Mark Messier became the third player in NHL history to register 100 career playoff goals and the Rangers defeated the Quebec Nordiques, 8-3, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
  • May 8, 1997 – Mike Richter earned his ninth and final career playoff shutout with the Rangers, stopping all 35 shots he faced as the Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at MSG.
  • May 9, 1972 – The Rangers staved off elimination by defeating the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Bobby Rousseau tallied two goals in the third period to help the Rangers rally from a 2-1 deficit and earn the win.
  • May 9, 1994 – Brian Leetch tied a single-game playoff franchise record for defensemen by tallying four points (one goal, three assists) – his second of three four-point games during the 1994 Playoffs – as the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at MSG. Leetch tallied an assist on each of the Rangers’ first three goals and registered the game-winning goal with 3:28 remaining in regulation to help the Blueshirts eliminate Washington and advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

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