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GAME NOTES: Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.) in the first meeting since facing each other in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blueshirts are currently in fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 21-20-5, and rank 10th in the Eastern Conference with 47 points. New York enters the contest having been defeated by the Penguins, 4-1, on Monday at Mellon Arena and have now lost six of their last seven contests. The Rangers are 3-2-0 in their last five games at home. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will travel to Boston to take on the Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden on Satruday, January 19 (1:00 p.m.) in the first game of a home-and-home set. The second game of the home-and-home set will be played on Sunday, January 20 at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), and will be nationally televised on NBC. The Sabres, 19-18-6, are currently in fourth place in the Northeast Division with 44 points and have lost nine consecutive games.

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Tune In Tonight!

Tonight's game will be televised on MSG2. For complete MSG2 channel listings, click here. You can also catch the radio broadcast on WABC (770 AM).

Rangers vs. Sabres Pre-Game Notes:

* The Rangers are 14-10-0 at MSG this season; The Sabres have posted a 8-10-4 record in 22 road contests.

* The Rangers are 5-5-1 against the Northeast Division this season; The Sabres are 4-3-4 vs. Atlantic Division opponents.

* New York has tallied 22 power playg goals in their last 106 power play opportunities (20.8%), including seven multi-goal efforts, in the last 22 games.

* The Blueshirts have tallied 10 power play goals in their last six contests vs. the Sabres, for a success rate of 30.3% (10-33).

* The Rangers have registered 40+ shots on goal in each of their last three games, outshooting their opponents 126-72 over the span; The last time the Blueshirts posted 40+ shots in three consecutive games was February 27, 1996 to
March 1, 1996 (139 shots).

* Henrik Lundqvist registered a 2.93 goals against average and a .903 save percentage in one appearance vs. Buffalo last season; In four career regular season contests vs. the Sabres, Lundqvist has posted a record of 1-2-1 and a 2.35 goals against average.

* In last year's season series, Jaromir Jagr led the Blueshirts with eight points (one goal and seven assists) in four games vs. the Sabres, and Martin Straka notched four goals in four contests.

* Jagr has collected 92 points (39 goals and 53 assists) in 69 career games vs. Buffalo; Brendan Shanahan has registered 32 points (16 goals and 16 assists) in 38 career games vs. the Sabres; Straka has registered 32 points (12 goals and 30 assists) in 45 career games vs. Buffalo.

* Paul Mara has collected four assists in the last four games.

* BShanahan is one assist shy of Brad Park and Jeremy Roenick for 50th on the all-time assists list.

* The Rangers have posted a record of 18-4-1 this season when holding the opposition to two or fewer goals.

* The last time the Rangers defeated the Sabres at MSG was on March 27, 2006 (5-4 SO).

* Tomas Zaborsky, the Rangers' fifth round pick (137th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, has registered 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points, along with 34 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating in 41 games with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season; The 20-year old forward ranks third on the team in goals (24), assists (24) and points (48).

* The Rangers list one former Sabre on their roster; Chris Drury (2003-04 to 2006-07).

* The Sabres' roster does not list any former Rangers.

All-Time - Rangers vs. Sabres
Overall: 49-65-25-3
At MSG: 29-24-15-2
At Buffalo: 20-41-10-1

2007-08 – Rangers vs. Sabres
Jan. 16 Rangers vs. Sabres at MSG
Feb. 16 Rangers vs. Sabres at MSG
Feb. 23 Rangers vs. Sabres at Buffalo
March 10 Rangers vs. Sabres at Buffalo

Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Jan. 16 Rangers vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 Rangers at Boston, 1 p.m.
Jan. 20 Rangers vs. Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 22 Rangers vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Jan. 24 Rangers vs. Atlanta 7 p.m. (Leetch ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.)

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

* Sean Avery suffered a hand contusion on Jan. 5 at Edmonton, and has missed four games.

* Brendan Shanahan suffered a hip/back injury on Thursday vs. Philadelphia, and has missed two games.

* The Rangers have lost 89 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

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

The Wolf Pack finished the first half of their 2007-08 season with a 24-12-0-4 record for 52 points, after sweeping a three-game road trip this past weekend.  The Wolf Pack knocked off the Hershey Bears (Washington affiliate), 3-1, Sunday in Hershey to complete the trip, following up on back-to-back wins in Norfolk (Tampa Bay affiliate), 4-2 on Friday night and 3-2 on Saturday. The Wolf Pack have now gained at least a standings point in 16 of the 20 road games that they have played on the year (14-4-0-2), have won four straight and six of their last seven on the road, and are 10-1-0-1 in their last 12 away games. The Pack are home tonight (7:00) against Worcester (San Jose affiliate), an outing that starts a week of four Atlantic-Division games in five days. The Wolf Pack travel to Springfield (Edmonton affiliate) Friday night (7:30), host Portland (Anaheim affiliate) Saturday evening (7:00) and visit league-leading Providence (Boston affiliate) on Sunday (4:05).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Artem Anisimov netted the PP-GWG in the Wolf Pack’s 3-1 win Sunday in Hershey, earning First-Star honors. He notched 1-1-2 in the weekend’s three games, in his first action after returning to the Pack from the World Junior Championships.

Dane Byers turned in First-Star performance in a 4-2 Pack victory at Norfolk Friday night, with a personal season-high three points (1-2-3). He had 2-2-4 in three games over this past weekend.

Ryan Callahan earned Second-Star honors in AHL season debut Friday night in Norfolk, with 1-1-2 in the Wolf Pack’s 4-2 win, and scored again the following night. He had points in all three of the Pack’s games over the weekend (2-2-4).

Andrew Hutchinson etted his first GWG of the season in Friday night’s 4-2 victory at Norfolk and has points in four straight games (1-3-4). He ranks third among AHL defensemen in assists (22), and stands fifth in points (6-22-28 in 35 GP)

Lauri Korpikoski
scored special teams goals in back-to-back games Saturday at Norfolk (SHG, First Star) and Sunday in Hershey (PPG, Second Star).

Al Montoya
posted wins in both of the Wolf Pack’s back-to-back games in Norfolk over the weekend, allowing a total of only four goals on 60 shots.

Corey Potter hipped in 1-1-2 to Friday night’s win in Norfolk. His +17 rating ranks second among AHL defensemen.

For more Wolf Pack news, visit
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