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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.) to close out their three-game homestand. The Blueshirts are currently in fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 20-19-5, and rank ninth in the Eastern Conference with 45 points. New York enters the contest having been defeated by the Flyers, 6-2, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden and have now lost a season-high, five consecutive games. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will travel to Pittsburgh to  take on the Penguins at Mellon Arena on Monday, January 14 (7:00 p.m.). The Canadiens, 22-13-8, are currently in second place in the Northeast Division with 52 points and have won three of their last four games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG. You can also catch the radio broadcast on ESPN 1050 New York.

Rangers vs. Canadiens Pre-Game Notes:

* The Rangers are 13-10-0 at MSG this season; The Canadiens have posted a 14-6-3 record in 23 road contests.

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

* New York has tallied 21 goals in their last 96 power play opportunities (21.9%), including seven multi-goal efforts, in the last 20 games.

* The Rangers have won the last three meetings vs. the Canadiens at MSG, outscoring Montreal 11-4 during the stretch.

* In the season series, Chris Drury and Dan Girardi have both tallied one goal and one assist apiece, and Scott Gomez has collected two assists in one game.

* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 5-2-0 record, along with a 2.27 goals against average and one shutout in eight career regular season appearances vs. the Canadiens.

* Jaromir Jagr has collected 75 points (39 goals and 36 assists) in 64 career games vs. Montreal; Brendan Shanahan has registered 37 points (14 goals and 23 assists) in 38 career games vs. the Canadiens; Scott Gomez has registered 30 points (five goals and 25 assists) in 27 career games vs. Montreal.

* Girardi enters tonight's contest having registered eight points (three goals and five assists) in the last eight games; Jagr has registered 11 points (five goals and six assists) in the last eight games; Scott Gomez has now collected nine points (one goal and eight assists) in the last eight games.

* Shanahan is one assist shy of Brad Park and Jeremy Roenick for 50th on the all-time assists list; Jagr is one assist shy of tying Al MacInnis for 13th all-time in assists.

* The Blueshirts have posted a 6-2-2 record when Chris Drury tallies a goal, and are 15-5-3 when Shanahan registers at least one point.

* Gomez will represent the Blueshirts at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday, January 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta after being named to the Eastern Conference roster yesterday afternoon; This will Gomez's second
All-Star Game appearance after skating in the 2000 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto as a rookie.

* Ryan Hillier, the Rangers' third round pick (84th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, has registered 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 points, along with 41 penalty minutes in 42 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major
Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this season; The 19-year old forward is tied for first on the team in goals (21), and ranks second in points (47) and third in assists (26).

* 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 and 2002-03 to 2003-04).

All-Time - Rangers vs. Canadiens
Overall: 183-311-94-1
At MSG: 121-119-54-1
At Montreal: 62-192-40-0

2007-08 – Rangers vs. Canadiens
Dec. 30 Rangers 4, Canadiens 3 (OT) 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

Jan. 12 Rangers vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 Rangers at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
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.

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

* Sean Avery suffered a hand contusion on Saturday at Edmonton, and has missed the last two games.

* Martin Straka suffered a concussion on Saturday at Edmonton, and has missed the last two games.

* The Rangers have lost 85 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

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

The Wolf Pack snapped a season-high three-game winless streak (0-2-0-1) on Friday night, with a 4-2 win at Norfolk (Tampa Bay affiliate).  The victory was only the Pack’s third in their last nine games (3-5-0-1), but they now have at least a point in 14 of their last 19 games (11-5-0-3), and nine of their last 10 road contests (8-1-0-1).  The Wolf Pack and Admirals go back at it tonight in Norfolk (7:15), and the Pack finish off a three-game road weekend with a visit to Hershey (Washington affiliate) Sunday (5:00).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Dane Byers turned in First-Star performance in 4-2 Pack victory at Norfolk on Friday night, with a personal season-high three points (1-1-2).

Ryan Callahan earned Second-Star honors in AHL season debut on Friday night in Norfolk, with 1-1-2 in the Wolf Pack’s 4-2 win.

Nigel Dawes was named Wednesday to the Canadian team for the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok, which takes place Jan. 27-28 in Binghamton, N.Y. He has 5-1-6 in his last four AHL games and 8-10-18 in his last 10.

Andrew Hutchinson netted his first GWG of the season in Friday night’s 4-2 victory at Norfolk. He ranks tied for fourth among AHL defensemen in assists (20), and stands fifth in points (6-20-26 in 33 GP)

Greg Moore was selected on Thursday to the Planet USA squad for the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok, which takes place Jan. 27-28 in Binghamton, N.Y.  He leads the AHL in plus/minus with a +22.  

Corey Potter has points in an AHL career-high three straight games (1-3-4), after chipping in 1-1-2 to Friday night’s win in Norfolk.

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