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Game Notes: Rangers vs. Atlanta Thrashers

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
VS.
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face-off against the Atlanta Thrashers tonight at Madison Square Garden (8:08 p.m.). The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 29-18-4, and fifth in the Eastern Conference with 62 points. The Rangers enter tonight's contest having been defeated by the Bruins, 1-0, on Saturday at TD Banknorth Garden, and have earned a point in six of their last nine games (5-3-1). Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will travel to Dallas to face-off against the Stars on Friday, February 6, at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m.). The Thrashers, 17-29-5, currently rank 14th in the Eastern Conference standings with 39 points, and have lost their last four games.

Tonight's contest between the Rangers and Thrashers will be preceded by a very special on-ice ceremony, as Adam Graves' #9 is officially raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden, joining only Ed Giacomin (#1), Rod Gilbert (#7), Mark Messier (#11), Mike Richter (#35), and Brian Leetch (#2) as the sixth Ranger to receive the team's highest honor. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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Tune In Tonight!
Today's game will be televised on MSG, with the live Graves ceremony coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York and on satellite radio at XM 206.

Rangers vs. Thrashers Pre-Game Notes

* The Rangers are 16-8-2 at home this season; The Thrashers have posted a 8-15-3 record in 26 road contests.

* The Rangers are 9-3-1 against the Southeast Division this season; The Thrashers have posted a 4-10-1 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

* The Blueshirts have tallied one goal in seven power play opportunities (14.3%) vs. the Thrashers this season.

* New York has surrendered one goal to the Thrashers in eight power play attempts for a success rate of 87.5% in the season series.

* Including two games from the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blueshirts have won the last five meetings at MSG, outscoring the Thrashers 20-5 over the span.

* New York has won the last four meetings with Atlanta heading into tonight's contest.

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 5-2-4 record, along with a 2.16 goals against average and one shutout in 12 career regular season appearances vs. Atlanta; In one game this season, Lundqvist is 1-0-0 with a 2.00 goals against average.

* Wade Redden leads the Rangers in scoring with three assists in two games vs. the Thrashers this season; Markus Naslund (one goal and one assist), Nikolai Zherdev (one goal and one assist), Brandon Dubinsky (two assists), and Paul Mara (two assists) have each recorded two points vs. Atlanta in the season series.

* Scott Gomez has registered 31 points (11 goals and 20 assists) in 32 career games vs. the Thrashers; Redden has notched 22 points (three goals and 19 assists) in 33 career games vs. Atlanta; Chris Drury has recorded 20 points (five goals and 15 assists) in 24 career contests vs. the Thrashers.

* On days when a Rangers player has had his number retired, the Blueshirts have posted a 2-3-0 record (Rod Gilbert on Oct. 14, 1979 - Rangers 3, Washington 5; Ed Giacomin on Mar. 15, 1989 - Rangers 3, Winnipeg 6; Mike Richter on Feb. 4, 2004 - Rangers 3, Minnesota 4; Mark Messier on Jan. 12, 2006 - Rangers 5, Edmonton 4 (OT); Brian Leetch on Jan. 24, 2008 - Rangers 2, Atlanta 1 (SO)).

* Gomez (two goals and three assists) and Naslund (one goal and four assists) each enter tonight's contest tallying five points in the last four games.

* Tom Pyatt, the Rangers' fourth round selection (107th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has registered 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 46 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season; The second-year player has recorded a point in four of his last five games, tallying five points (three goals and two assists) over the span.

* New York lists no former Thrashers on its roster.

* Atlanta's roster lists no former Rangers.

All Time – Rangers vs. Thrashers
Overall: 17-11-1-5
At MSG: 7-6-1-3
At Atlanta: 10-5-0-2

2008-09 - Rangers vs. Thrashers
Oct. 30 Rangers 3, Thrashers 2 at MSG
Dec. 10 Rangers 3. Thrashers 2 (OT) at Atlanta
Feb. 3 Rangers vs. Thrashers at MSG
March 26 Rangers vs. Thrashers at Atlanta

Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Feb. 3 Rangers vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m. (Adam Graves Night)
Feb. 6 Rangers at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 Rangers vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 Rangers at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 2-3-0
Last 10 NYR games: 5-4-1

Injuries

* None

* The Rangers have lost 11 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack (25-18-2-3, 55 pts.) finished the month of January with a 9-4-1-0 record in 14 games, by far their most successful month of the season, after a 2-0-0-0 week last week. The two victories also gave the Pack a share of first place in the Atlantic Division for the first time all season, although the Providence Bruins (Boston affiliate) have now jumped two points ahead of the Wolf Pack. Friday saw the Wolf Pack defeat Bridgeport (Islanders affiliate) by a score of 3-1 in Hartford, and then Ken Gernander’s club scored a 4-3 divisional victory Saturday, in its first visit of the season to Manchester (Los Angeles affiliate).  Three Atlantic-Division tilts are on the Wolf Pack’s schedule this week, starting with a home game tomorrow night (7:00) vs. Manchester.  Saturday (7:00) finds the Pack in Springfield to take on the Falcons (Edmonton), and the Wolf Pack will visit Lowell (New Jersey affiliate) on Sunday (4:00).

For more Wolf Pack news, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com.
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