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Game Preview: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators, Feb. 3

Game Preview: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators, Feb. 3

NEW YORK RANGERS at NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN

 

Rangers: 25-21-5 (55 pts)

Predators: 30-12-7 (67 pts)

 

* See the attached documents for additional information on all Rangers players and the Rangers’ portion of game notes for tomorrow’s contest

 

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 52nd game of the 2017-18 season tomorrow, Feb. 3, against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena (8:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Beginning with tomorrow’s contest, five of the Blueshirts’ next six games are against Western Conference opponents.

 

RANGERS PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Prior to tomorrow’s contest, Rangers extras will skate at 11:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) at Bridgestone Arena. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be available to the media at 5:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. ET).

*Schedule and availability subject to change

 

RANGERS VS. PREDATORS

  • All-Time: 14-8-1-2 (7-5-1-1 at home; 7-3-0-1 on the road)
  • 2017-18: Tomorrow’s game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Predators, and the only meeting between the two teams at Nashville. 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 Oct. 21 at MSG. Kevin Hayes tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-three rating in the contest, while Jimmy Vesey also recorded two points (one goal, one assist).
  • The Rangers have won eight of their last 11 games against Nashville (8-3-0 record), including five of their last six games against the Predators (5-1-0 record).
  • The Blueshirts have posted a shutout in three of their last 10 games against the Predators.

 

 RANGERS-PREDATORS CONNECTIONS

  • Cody McLeod played parts of two seasons with Nashville (2016-17 and 2017-18).
  • Jimmy Vesey was selected by the Predators in the third round (66th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Peter Laviolette played 12 games with the Rangers during the 1988-89 season.
  • Kevin Hayes, Ryan Johansen, and Austin Watson were all selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
  • David Desharnais, P.K. Subban, and Alexei Emelin were all teammates with Montreal for five seasons (2011-12 – 2015-16). Desharnais and Emelin were teammates with Montreal for parts of six seasons (2011-12 – 2016-17), while Desharnais and Subban were teammates with the Canadiens for parts of seven seasons (2009-10 – 2015-16). In addition, Desharnais, Subban, Emelin, and Yannick Weber were all teammates with Montreal for parts of two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13).
  • Ryan McDonagh, P.K. Subban, and Yannick Weber were all selected by the Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh – first round/12th overall; Subban – second round/43rd overall; Weber; third round/73rd overall).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and Nick Bonino were teammates at Boston University for three seasons (2007-08 – 2009-10) and helped the school win the National Championship in 2008-09.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Brendan Smith, and Kyle Turris were all teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2007-08).
  • Ryan McDonagh and Craig Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2009-10).
  • Rick Nash and P.K. Subban helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Mika Zibanejad and Pontus Aberg were teammates in the Djurgardens organization in Sweden for three seasons (2009-10 – 2011-12). In addition, Zibanejad, Aberg, and Viktor Arvidsson helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Craig Smith all represented the United States at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Kevin Hayes and Craig Smith represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Jesper Fast and Calle Jarnkrok represented Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • J.T. Miller and Austin Watson represented the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Rick Nash and Ryan Johansen were teammates with the Blue Jackets for one season (2011-12).
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Mattias Ekholm represented Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton skated in eight games with the Rangers during the 1986-87 season.
  • Anthony Bitetto is from Island Park, New York.
  • Steven Kampfer and Austin Watson are both from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. PREDATORS

  • Henrik Lundqvist – 12 GP, 8-4-0, 1.92 GAA, .936 SV%, 2 SO – In his last 10 appearances against the Predators (dating back to Mar. 12, 2009), he has posted a 7-3-0 record, along with a 1.90 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 2 SO. Lundqvist has posted a shutout in two of his last seven appearances against Nashville.
  • Rick Nash – 60 GP, 26-16-42 – Nash has registered a goal/point in six of the last eight games against Nashville (six goals), and he has tallied 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in his last 17 games against the Predators.
  • Kevin Hayes – 7 GP, 2-7-9 – Hayes has registered six points (one goal, five assists) in the last three games against the Predators and has tallied eight points (two goal, six assists) in the last five contests against Nashville.
  • Cody McLeod – 36 GP, 6-4-10 – McLeod’s 10 points against Nashville are tied for the most he has recorded against one opponent in his NHL career.
  • Nick Holden – 15 GP, 5-4-9 – Holden has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in his last eight games against Nashville.
  • Mats Zuccarello – 9 GP, 0-6-6 – Zuccarello has notched an assist/point in four of nine career games against the Predators.
  • David Desharnais – 7 GP, 3-3-6 – Desharnais has tallied a point in five of seven career games against Nashville.
  • J.T. Miller – 7 GP, 3-1-4 – Miller has recorded four points (three goals, one assist) in the last four games against the Predators.

 

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

  • Cody McLeod was teammates with Nick Holden (2013-14 – 2015-16), Kevin Shattenkirk (2010-11), and Paul Carey (2013-14 and 2014-15) during his tenure with the Avalanche.
  • 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).
  • Michael Grabner and Peter Holland were teammates with Toronto for one season (2015-16).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch.

 

TEAM EFFORT

The Rangers are one of two NHL teams that have eight players who have recorded 10 or more goals this season (along with Winnipeg). In addition, the Blueshirts are one of three NHL teams that have 11 players who have registered at least 20 points this season (along with Boston and Winnipeg).

 

GOALS GALORE

The Blueshirts tied a single-game season-high with six goals on Jan. 25 at San Jose. The Rangers have tallied nine goals over the last three contests and have recorded 21 goals over the last seven games. Over the last seven games (since Jan. 16 vs. Philadelphia)…

  • 11 Rangers have tallied at least one goal
  • Five Rangers have recorded two or more goals
  • 18 Rangers have notched at least one point
  • Nine Rangers have registered at least three points

 

ON POINT

Rangers defensemen recorded three goals in the second period on Jan. 25 at San Jose (McDonagh – even strength goal and power play goal; Skjei – shorthanded goal). Blueshirts defensemen registered three goals in one period (as well as a power play goal, a shorthanded goal, and an even strength goal in one period) for the first time since the second period on Nov. 17, 2007 at Pittsburgh. Rangers defensemen have tallied 12 points (three goals, nine assists) over the last seven games, and five defensemen have tallied at least one point over the span.

 

STAYING DISCIPLINED

The Blueshirts have recorded the fifth-fewest penalty minutes in the NHL this season (396). The Rangers have only been shorthanded once in each of the last two games and in three of the last five contests.

 

ROAD WARRIORS

New York is tied for third in the NHL in road wins since the start of last season (35; 35-24-4 record over the span). The Rangers also rank second in the NHL – and lead the Eastern Conference – in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (107).

 

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist is the first goaltender in NHL history who has earned 20 or more wins in each of his first 13 seasons, as well as the first goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 20 wins in 13 consecutive seasons at any point during the course of a career. Lundqvist has posted a .926 SV% in 33 appearances since Nov. 1, and he ranks fourth among NHL goaltenders (min. 20 appearances) in SV% over the span.

 

CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh tied a single-game career-high with two goals and registered two goals in a span of 72 seconds on Jan. 25 at San Jose. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McDonagh became the first Rangers defenseman to record two goals in a span of 72 seconds or fewer since James Patrick on Mar. 25, 1986 at New Jersey (two goals in 11 seconds). The Rangers captain is one of five NHL defensemen who have registered at least 22 assists and a plus-10 rating this season (Doughty, Hedman, Klingberg, and Pietrangelo). McDonagh has led the Rangers in ice time in 36 of the 46 games he has played this season, and he has logged at least 24:00 of ice time in 13 of his last 16 contests.

 

RICK ROLLING

Rick Nash has posted a multi-goal/point game in three of the last seven games, and he has registered seven points (six goals, one assist) and 26 shots on goal in the seven contests. Over the last seven games (since Jan. 16), Nash is tied for second in the NHL in goals and is tied for seventh in shots on goal. He drew two penalties on Feb. 1 vs. Toronto, and he leads the Rangers in minor penalties drawn this season (18).

 

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello has registered an assist/point in four of the last five games (five assists over the span). He leads the Rangers in assists (29), points (37), primary assists (19), power play assists (12), and power play points (13) this season. Zuccarello has registered 299 points thus far in his NHL career.

 

UP FOR GRABS

Michael Grabner is one of three NHL players who have recorded at least 45 goals and a plus-30 rating since the start of last season (McDavid and Marchand). Grabner ranks fourth in the NHL in even strength goals since the start of the 2016-17 season (46), trailing only Auston Matthews (53), Vladimir Tarasenko (48), and Nikita Kucherov (47) over the span. Grabner leads Rangers forwards in shorthanded ice time this season (101:46), and he has only been on the ice for seven power play goals against in 2017-18.

 

McLEOD AND CLEAR

Cody McLeod led all skaters with eight hits while making his Rangers debut on Feb. 1 vs. Toronto. McLeod’s eight hits in the contest were the most a Ranger has registered in one game thus far this season. He has recorded 63 hits in 24 games with the Rangers and Nashville in 2017-18.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-3 (6:00) on Feb. 1 vs. Toronto.
  • The Blueshirts have tallied a power play goal in four of the last five games (4-for-14; 28.6%), in five of the last seven games (5-for-18; 27.8%), in six of the last nine games (6-for-22; 27.3%), and in eight of the last 13 games (8-for-34; 23.5%).

 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-1 (2:00) on Feb. 1 vs. Toronto.
  • New York has tallied a shorthanded goal in two of the last three games and in three of the last seven contests; the Rangers lead the NHL in shorthanded goals since Jan. 16 (three).
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in seven of the last 10 games, in 16 of the last 24 games, and in 17 of the last 26 games.

 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Mats Zuccarello – 1 point away from 300 in his NHL career; 6 goals away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Rick Nash – 4 points away from 800 in his NHL career
  • J.T. Miller – 6 assists away from 100 in his NHL career

 

INJURIES (56 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Chris Kreider (blood clot – right arm) – has missed 14 games
  • Kevin Shattenkirk (meniscus tear) – has missed five games
  • Pavel Buchnevich (concussion symptoms)

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Jan. 30 – Recalled Tony DeAngelo and Peter Holland from Hartford (AHL)

 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Feb. 2, 1969 – Brad Park established a single-game Rangers rookie record with four assists as the Blueshirts defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-3, at MSG. The G-A-G Line registered 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the contest.
  • Feb. 2, 1980 – Phil Esposito registered his 700th career NHL goal, becoming the second player (at the time) to accomplish the feat (along with Gordie Howe). Esposito tallied two goals to help the Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals, 6-3.
  • Feb. 2, 1994 – A Rangers player recorded a hat trick for the second consecutive game, as Adam Graves tallied three goals and Mark Messier registered an assist on all four of the Blueshirts’ goals in a 4-4 tie against the New York Islanders at MSG.
  • Feb. 2, 2002 – Brian Leetch skated in his final NHL All-Star Game. Leetch was an 11-time NHL All-Star and played in nine NHL All-Star Games in his career (he missed two due to injury).
  • Feb. 3, 1974 – Rod Gilbert became the Rangers’ all-time leader in points, as he registered his 730th career point with the Blueshirts to pass Andy Bathgate. Gilbert recorded three points (two goals, one assist) as the Rangers and Minnesota North Stars played to a 5-5 tie at MSG. Gilbert remains the franchise’s all-time leader in points (1,021).  
  • Feb. 3, 2009 – The Rangers retired Adam Graves’ No. 9 jersey in a pre-game ceremony at MSG.

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