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GAME NOTES: Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face off against the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.) in the second of back-to-back games. The Blueshirts are currently tied for second place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 19-15-4, and rank sixth in the Eastern Conference with 42 points. New York enters the contest having defeated the Maple Leafs, 6-1, last night at the Air Canada Centre and have earned at least one point in three of the last four games (2-1-1). The Blueshirts have posted a record of 1-3-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will begin a three-game road trip through western Canada on Wednesday, January 2, when they travel to Calgary to take on the Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome (9:00 p.m.). The Canadiens, 19-13-6, are currently in second place in the Northeast Division with 44 points and have won three of their last five games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on WABC (770 AM).

Rangers vs. Canadiens Pre-Game Notes:

* The Blueshirts notched five power play goals on Saturday night at Toronto, the most on the man advantage since March 9, 1996 at Washington.

* New York has tallied 18 goals in their last 67 power play opportunities (26.9%), including six multi-goal efforts, in the last 14 games.

* Jaromir Jagr collected three assists on Saturday night at Toronto to pass Larry Murphy for 14th all-time in assists with 930.

* Brendan Shanahan notched a goal on Saturday night vs. the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre to tie Dave Andreychuk for 11th all-time in goals with 640.

* With his game-winning goal on Saturday night at Toronto, Jagr passed Brett Hull for third on the all-time game-winning goals list with 111.

* Jagr registered four points (one goal and three assists) vs. the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre and is the active leader with 113 multi-point games.

* Martin Straka tallied his 250th career goal on Saturday night at Toronto; He enters tonight's contest with eight points (three goals and five assists) in the last six games.

* Paul Mara collected his 150th career assist vs. the Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

* Scott Gomez enters the game riding a career-high, 11-game point Jagr enters the contest with a six-game point streak, collecting three goals and eight assists for 11 points during the stretch.

* The Rangers have won the last two meetings vs. the Canadiens at MSG, outscoring Montreal 7-1 during the stretch.

* Jagr has collected 74 points (38 goals and 36 assists) in 63 career games vs. Montreal; Shanahan has registered 36 points (13 goals and 23 assists) in 37 career games vs. the Canadiens; Gomez has registered 28 points (five goals and 23 assists) in 26 career games vs. Montreal.

* The Rangers are 12-8-0 at MSG this season; The Canadiens have posted a 13-6-2 record in 21 road contests.

* The Rangers are 2-5-1 against the Northeast Division this season; The Canadiens are 5-1-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents.

* The 2008 IIHF World Under-20 Championship began Wednesday in the Czech Republic; Artem Anisimov has recorded three points (one goal and two assists) in three games, Alexei Cherepanov has tallied two goals in two games and Bobby Sanguinetti has registered two points (one goal and one assist) in three games.

* The Rangers have one former Canadien on their roster; Marcel Hossa (2001-02 to 2003-04).

* The Canadiens' roster lists one former Ranger; Alex Kovalev (1992-93 to 1998-99, 2002-03 to 2003-04).

All-Time - Rangers vs. Canadiens
Overall: 182-311-94-1
At MSG: 120-119-54-1
At Montreal: 62-192-40-0

2007-08 – Rangers vs. Canadiens
Dec. 30 Rangers vs. Canadiens at MSG
Jan. 12 Rangers vs. Canadiens at MSG
Feb. 3 Rangers vs. Canadiens at Bell Centre
Feb. 19 Rangers vs. Canadiens at Bell Centre

Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Dec. 30 Rangers vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
Jan. 2 Rangers at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Jan. 3 Rangers at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Jan. 5 Rangers at Edmonton, 10 p.m.
Jan. 8 Rangers vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games

Last 5 NYR games: 2-2-1
Last 10 NYR games: 4-4-2

* Marcel Hossa has missed seven games with the flu.

* The Rangers have lost 78 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

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

The Wolf Pack absorbed their first shutout loss of the season on Saturday night, falling 2-0 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders affiliate) in Bridgeport.  That defeat snapped a streak of at least standings point in seven straight road games (6-0-0-1).  Friday night saw the Pack eke out a 3-2 win at Springfield (Edmonton affiliate), in the Wolf Pack’s first post-Christmas action.  The Pack has only one win in its last four games 1-2-0-1, but has at least a point in 11 of its last 14 outings (9-3-0-2).  Ken Gernander’s squad finishes off a three-game road weekend today (4:05) in Manchester (Los Angeles affiliate), then rings in the New Year with three home games next week.  The Wolf Pack will host Portland (Anaheim affiliate) Wednesday (7:00), Hershey (Washington affiliate) Friday (7:00) and Lowell (New Jersey affiliate) Saturday (7:00).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Andrew Hutchinson chipped in two assists on Saturday night vs. Syracuse. He is tied for fifth among AHL blueliners in helpouts (17) and tied for seventh in points (22).

Hugh Jessiman registered 1-1-2 (PPG) in Friday’s 3-2 triumph in Springfield.

Lauri Korpikoski chipped in two assists in Friday’s road victory vs. Springfield.

Al Montoya suffered only his second non-shootout loss in his last 11 decisions (7-2-2) on Saturday night in Bridgeport, earning Third-Star honors with one goal-against on 23 shots.  He made 35 saves to get his ninth win of the season Friday evening in Springfield (3-2 victory).

Greg Moore tallied a shorthanded game-winner in Friday’s 3-2 win at Springfield. He is tied for the AHL plus/minus lead at a +20, and stands fifth in the league in goals (16).  

Thomas Pock scored for the third time in two games in Friday’s victory in Springfield.

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