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GAME NOTES: Rangers vs. Phoenix Coyotes

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Today's Game

The Rangers face off against the Phoenix Coyotes today at Madison Square Garden (5:00 p.m.) in their second of five matches vs. Pacific Division opponents this season. The Blueshirts are currently tied for second place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 16-12-3, and rank seventh in the Eastern Conference with 35 points. New York enters the contest having lost to the Capitals, 5-4, in overtime on Wednesday at Washington and have now lost four of their last five games. Today's contest marks the first of five games in eight days for the Rangers, who will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, December 18 at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.). The Coyotes, 14-16-0, are currently in fourth place in the Pacific Division with 28 points and have won three of their last five games.

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Tune In Today!
Today's game will be televised by WWOR-TV/My9. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN New York.

Rangers vs. Coyotes Pre-Game Notes:

* The Rangers are 10-6-0 at MSG this season; Phoenix has posted a 9-8-0 record in 17 road contests.

* The Rangers are 0-1-0 against the Pacific Division this season; Phoenix is 1-2-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents.

* In the last 10 games vs. the Phoenix franchise at MSG, the Blueshirts are 9-1-0 dating back to a 4-2 win on Jan. 6, 1992, outscoring the Coyotes, 35-18, and yielding only four power play goals in 53 shorthanded situations (92.5%).

* In their last seven games, the Blueshirts have registered six goals in 29 power play opportunities (20.7%).

* New York has held their opponents scoreless on the power play in five of their last six contests (18 of 20 - 90.0%).

* Scott Gomez enters the game riding a four-game point streak (one goal and four assists); In the last 20 games, Gomez has registered 21 points (four goals and 17 assists).

* Brendan Shanahan has notched a goal in each of the last two games, and has recorded 10 points (five goals and five assists) in the last nine contests.

* Marcel Hossa has registered a plus or even rating in 25 of his 27 games this season for a team-leading, plus-seven rating; Marc Staal has posted a plus or even rating in 18 of the last 21 contests for a plus-six rating over the span; Jason Strudwick has recorded a plus or even rating in 14 of his last 15 contests for a plus-two rating during the stretch.

* With two assists on Wednesday at Washington, Shanahan is now tied with Bobby Smith for 52nd on the all-time assists list with 679 career assists; He is two goals shy of Dave Andreychuk for 11th in all-time goals.

* Martin Straka needs one assist for 100 assists as a Ranger.

* The last time the Rangers faced the Coyotes at MSG was a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 28, 2002.

* In the last matchup between the teams, the Rangers outshot the Coyotes 35-26 in a 7-3 victory on Oct. 28, 2006 at Phoenix; Jaromir Jagr registered a season-high, four points (one goal and three assists), Straka notched two goals and Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 23 shots for the Blueshirts.

* Shanahan has collected 74 points (36 goals and 38 assists) in 71 career games vs. the Phoenix franchise;  Jagr has registered 27 points (11 goals and 16 assists) in 24 career contests vs. the Coyotes; Sean Avery has recorded 11 points (three goals and eight assists) and 121 penalty minutes in 23 matches vs. Phoenix.

* Fedor Tyutin leads the Blueshirts with 90 hits and 55 blocked shots.

* Artem Anisimov, the Rangers' second round pick (54th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, has registered five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 29 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL); The Yaroslavl, Russia native was recently named to represent his home country in the 2008 IIHF World Under-20 Championship, to be played in the Czech Republic beginning on December 26, 2007.

* The Rangers have one former Coyote on their roster; Paul Mara (2000-01 to 2005-06).

* The Coyotes roster lists one former Ranger; Mike York (1999-00 to 2001-02).

All-Time - Rangers vs. Coyotes
Overall: 33-22-6-0
At MSG: 18-9-2-0
At Phoenix: 15-13-4-0

2007-08 -- Rangers vs. Coyotes
Dec. 16 Rangers vs. Coyotes at MSG

Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Dec. 16 Rangers vs. Phoenix, 5 p.m.
Dec. 18 Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 Rangers at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Dec. 21 Rangers at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Dec. 23 Rangers vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.

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

* Sean Avery underwent successful wrist surgery on Nov. 29 and has missed seven games.

* The Rangers have lost 67 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

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

The Wolf Pack knocked off the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles affiliate), 2-1 in overtime, at the Hartford Civic Center on Saturday night, after they had their streak of eight straight games with at least a standings point snapped Wednesday at home vs. Houston (Minnesota affiilate).  The Pack’s 6-1 loss to the Aeros was their most lopsided defeat of the season and marked the first time that they had given up as many as six goals in a game.  The previous outing, a 7-1 win at Worcester (San Jose affiliate) last Saturday night, featured the Wolf Pack’s biggest offensive output of the season and their largest margin of victory.  After last night’s triumph, the Pack are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games, and have at least a point in 13 of their last 15 contests (12-2-0-1) and 15 of their last 18 (14-3-0-1).  Ken Gernander’s club is now off until Friday night (7:00), when they host their Nutmeg-State rivals the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders affiliate), and they finish off a four-game homestand with a battle against Syracuse (Columbus affiliate) on Saturday (7:00).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Ivan Baranka
netted the overtime game-winner against Manchester on Saturday night, his first GWG of the season, at 3:11 of the extra period.

Nigel Dawes has 11 points (3-8-11) in his last four games, after assisting on both Wolf Pack goals in Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime win over Manchester. He has struck for 8-14-22 in his last 10 AHL contests, and set a Wolf Pack regular-season franchise record with six points (2-4-6) in the Pack’s 7-1 victory at Worcester last Saturday.

Al Montoya
earned Second-Star honors in Saturday night’s 2-1 overtime verdict vs. Manchester, with 26 saves. He is 6-1-1 in his last eight decisions and 7-2-1 in his last nine, after starting the season 1-3-1 in his first five.

Greg Moore tallied the Wolf Pack’s only goal (SHG) in Wednesday night’s 6-1 home loss to Houston. He leads the AHL in plus/minus at a +20, and is tied for third in the league in goals (15) and tied for ninth in points (29). Moore has 4-2-6 in the last three games and registered his first pro hat trick in last Saturday’s 7-1 victory at Worcester and added an assist, for a pro career-high four points.
Pierre Parenteau has recorded at least a point in six of his last seven games (4-6-10) and 13 of his last 15 (8-12-20). He is tied for ninth in the AHL in points with 29.

Thomas Pock nothed a PPG on Saturday night vs. Manchester, giving him 3-6-9 in his last 10 games.

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