NEW YORK RANGERS at COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
Rangers: 1-3-0 (2 pts)
Blue Jackets: 2-1-0 (4 pts)
The Rangers play their fifth game of the 2017-18 season and begin a back-to-back set tonight, Oct. 13, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Nationwide Arena (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts are starting their second back-to-back set of the season tonight, and the team will play 11 back-to-back sets this season. In addition, tonight's contest is the first of four consecutive games the Rangers will play against Metropolitan Division opponents (Columbus, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, NY Islanders).
RANGERS VS. BLUE JACKETS
- All-Time: 16-11-1-1 (7-4-1-1 at home; 9-7-0-0 on the road)
- 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, and the first of two meetings between the two teams in Columbus. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Blue Jackets will play against each other on the following dates: Nov. 6 (at MSG), Nov. 17 (at Columbus), Mar. 20 (at MSG).
- 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 2-3-0 record (0-2-0 at home; 2-1-0 on the road). Michael Grabner led all skaters with five goals and six points in five games, and he registered a hat trick on Jan. 7, 2017 at Columbus. In addition, Nick Holden led all skaters with four assists and led all defensemen with four points in the season series. Four of the five games were decided by two goals or fewer.
- The Rangers have won nine of their last 12 games against the Blue Jackets, dating back to Jan. 16, 2015 (9-3-0 record over the span).
- New York has earned a win in seven of its last nine contests on the road against Columbus, dating back to Nov. 7, 2013 (7-2-0 record over the span).
RANGERS-BLUE JACKETS CONNECTIONS
- Rick Nash played with Columbus for nine seasons (2002-03 - 2011-12), and he is the franchise's all-time leader in several categories, including games played (674), goals (289), assists (258), and points (547).
- Nick Holden made his NHL debut with the Blue Jackets and played parts of two seasons with Columbus (2010-11; 2012-13).
- Adam Cracknell played part of one season with Columbus (2014-15).
- Scott Arniel served as Blue Jackets Head Coach for parts of two seasons (2010-11 - 2011-12).
- Brandon Dubinsky played parts of six seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 - 2011-12) and won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award during his rookie season in 2007-08.
- John Tortorella served as Rangers Head Coach for parts of six seasons (1999-00; 2008-09 - 2012-13).
- Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers (1975-76 - 1982-83) and served as TV Analyst for 20 years on MSG Network (1986 - 2006).
- Brady Skjei and Jordan Schroeder are both from Lakeville, Minnesota, and they both played collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota (Skjei: 2012-13 - 2014-15; Schroeder: 2008-09 and 2009-10).
- Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Paul Carey, and Cam Atkinson were all teammates at Boston College for one season (2010-11). Kreider, Carey, and Atkinson helped Boston College win the National Championship in 2009-10. Carey and Atkinson were teammates at Boston College for three seasons (2008-09 - 2010-11).
- J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Seth Jones helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Miller and Jones also helped the United States earn a gold medal at the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championship.
- Brady Skjei and Seth Jones helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World U18 Championship and a silver medal at the 2011 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
- Mika Zibanejad and Alexander Wennberg played in the Djurgardens organization in Sweden for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
- Steven Kampfer and Jack Johnson were teammates at the University of Michigan for one season (2006-07).
- Mika Zibanejad and Nick Foligno were teammates with Ottawa for part of one season (2011-12).
- Michael Grabner and Scott Harrington were teammates with the Maple Leafs for part of one season (2015-16).
- Jordan Schroeder's first NHL head coach was Alain Vigneault (2012-13 with Vancouver). Schroeder was also coached by Scott Arniel with Vancouver's minor league affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
- J.T. Miller is a native of East Palestine, Ohio.
- Sonny Milano is a native of Massapequa, New York.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BLUE JACKETS
- Henrik Lundqvist - 17 GP, 10-5-1, 2.87 GAA, .905 SV% - Lundqvist has posted a 7-2-0 record in his last 10 appearances against the Blue Jackets (dating back to Mar. 21, 2014), and he has allowed two goals or fewer in five of the 10 contests.
- Kevin Shattenkirk - 24 GP, 4-13-17 - Over the course of his career, Shattenkirk has not gone two consecutive games against the Blue Jackets without recording a point. He has tallied a point in five of his last six games against Columbus, registering six points (two goals, four assists) over the span.
- Michael Grabner - 14 GP, 7-5-12 - Grabner has tallied nine points (five goals, four assists) in seven career games on the road in Columbus.
- Kevin Hayes - 11 GP, 3-4-7 - Hayes has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in his last three contests against the Blue Jackets.
- Nick Holden - 10 GP, 0-6-6 - Holden has tallied an assist/point in four of the last five games against Columbus and in six of 10 career games against the Blue Jackets.
RANGERS CONNECTIONS (IN ADDITION TO CURRENTLY PLAYING WITH THE BLUESHIRTS)
- Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk have represented the United States together in several tournaments, including the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2011 IIHF World Championship, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championship. McDonagh, Shattenkirk, and Chris Kreider were all teammates with Team USA at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
- Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Brendan Smith were all selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh - 12th overall by Montreal; Shattenkirk - 14th overall by Colorado; Smith - 27th overall by Detroit).
- Ryan McDonagh and Brendan Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for three seasons (2007-08 - 2009-10).
- Paul Carey, Chris Kreider, and Kevin Hayes were all teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) and helped Boston College win the National Championship in 2011-12; Carey and Kreider were teammates for three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12) and helped Boston College win two National Championships (2009-10 and 2011-12).
- Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey were friends growing up in Massachusetts.
- J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
- Michael Grabner's first head coach in the NHL was Alain Vigneault (2009-10 with Vancouver).
- Paul Carey and Nick Holden were teammates with Colorado for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
- Paul Carey and Kevin Shattenkirk were teammates with Washington for part of one season (2016-17).
- Nick Holden and Rick Nash were teammates with Columbus for part of one season (2010-11).
- Adam Cracknell and Kevin Shattenkirk were teammates with the Blues for parts of four seasons (2010-11 - 2013-14).
- Adam Cracknell was coached by Lindy Ruff in Dallas during the 2016-17 season.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch.
New York led the NHL in wins (27) and points (56) on the road during the 2016-17 season (27-12-2 record). The Rangers also led the NHL in goal differential (plus-28), tied for the NHL lead in goals against (97), and tied for fourth in the NHL in goals for (125) on the road last season. The Rangers lead the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (99). New York's 27 road wins in 2016-17 were the second-most the team earned in one season in franchise history, and the only season in which the Blueshirts earned more than 27 road wins was 2014-15 (28). The Rangers' 27 road wins last season were also tied for the fifth-most any NHL team has recorded in one season in league history.
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 41-12-4 record in the game following a loss (either regulation loss or overtime/shootout loss). New York posted a 23-7-4 record in games following a loss last season.
WHAT A LINE
The Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich line has registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) thus far this season, and at least one of the three players has notched a point on seven of the team's 10 goals in 2017-18.
For the second time in franchise history, a Ranger has registered a goal in each of the team's first four games of a season (Rick Nash - 2014-15; Mika Zibanejad - 2017-18).
Three Rangers defensemen have recorded a goal thus far this season (Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal, and Brady Skjei). New York is one of four NHL teams with three defensemen who have tallied a goal this season.
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Rangers earned their first shutout of the 2017-18 season on Oct. 8 vs. Montreal (2-0 win). New York posted a shutout in one of its first three games of a season for the first time since Oct. 16, 2003 vs. Atlanta (0-0 tie), and the Blueshirts registered a shutout win in one of their first three contests of a season for the first time since Oct. 14, 1995 at Toronto (2-0 win).
The Blueshirts have registered at least 30 shots on goal in three of four games in 2017-18 and have averaged 33.0 shots on goal per game thus far this season.
HOT AT THE DOT
The Rangers have posted a 52.7% faceoff win percentage in 2017-18 (127-for-241) and have won at least 55.0% of faceoffs taken in three of four contests. The Blueshirts are one of seven NHL teams that have posted a 50.0% faceoff win percentage or better on offensive zone faceoffs, defensive zone faceoffs, and neutral zone faceoffs in 2017-18.
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since 2006-07 (506). Vigneault has earned 615 career wins as an NHL head coach, and he is two wins away from tying Jacques Lemaire for 13th place on the league's all-time wins list among head coaches.
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 62nd career NHL shutout on Oct. 8 vs. Montreal, passing Turk Broda for sole possession of 16th place on the NHL's all-time shutouts list. Lundqvist enters the game with 406 career NHL wins, and he is one win away from tying Glenn Hall for ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. Lundqvist has allowed two goals over the last two contests, posting a 1-1-0 record, along with a 1.02 GAA, a .964 SV% (54 saves on 56 shots), and 1 SO in the two games.
Mika Zibanejad has recorded a goal/point in each of the Rangers' first four games in 2017-18, tallying five goals in the four contests. Zibanejad's four-game goal streak is a career-high, and he is one of two players in Rangers history who have recorded a goal in each of the team's first four games of a season (Rick Nash - 2014-15). He leads the NHL in power play goals (four) and games with a goal (four), is tied for the NHL lead in power play points (four), is tied for second in goals (five), and is tied for fourth in shots on goal (20) this season. Zibanejad's four power play goals are tied for his career-high. He also ranks fourth in the NHL (min. 60 faceoffs taken) in faceoff win percentage thus far this season (57.0%; 49-for-86).
Mats Zuccarello established a single-game career-high with four points (one goal, three assists) and tied a single-game career-high with three assists on Oct. 7 at Toronto. Zuccarello, who was named an alternate captain on Oct. 4, tallied five points (one goal, four assists) through the first two games this season and became the first Ranger to register five points in the first two games of a season since Bernie Nicholls in 1990-91. He is tied for third in the NHL in power play assists (three) and is tied for sixth in the NHL in power play points (three) this season.
Kevin Shattenkirk registered two points (one goal, one assist), including his 300th career NHL point, on Oct. 7 at Toronto. He has tallied four points (one goal, three assists) this season, all on the power play, and he is tied for the NHL lead in power play points in 2017-18. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Shattenkirk ranks second among NHL defensemen in power play points (135), and ranks third among NHL defensemen in power play goals (33) and power play assists (102); he is the only NHL defenseman who ranks third or higher in all three categories over the span.
Rick Nash is one of two NHL players who have registered 20 or more goals in 12 different seasons since 2003-04 (along with Alex Ovechkin). Since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash ranks seventh in the NHL (min. 100 games played) in goals per 60 minutes of ice time (1.37), and he also leads the Blueshirts in goals (127), game-winning goals (27), and shots on goal (1,132) over the span. Thus far in 2017-18, Nash is tied for third in the NHL in takeaways (six) and is tied for 12th in the NHL in shots on goal (16).
- The Rangers were 1-for-4 (6:38) on Oct. 10 vs. St. Louis.
- The Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (31.3%; 5-for-16).
- The Rangers have tallied a PPG in three of four games thus far this season and have registered at least five PPG in their first four games of a season for the first time since 2005-06 (six).
- New York recorded four PPG in its first two games of this season (accomplished the feat for the first time since 2000-01).
- The Rangers were 3-for-4 (5:30) on Oct. 10 vs. St. Louis.
- Ondrej Pavelec - 18 saves away from 10,000 in his NHL career
- Rick Nash - 7 games away from 1,000 in his NHL career
- Marc Staal - 7 games away from 700 in his NHL career
- Chris Kreider - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
- Kevin Shattenkirk - 6 games away from 500 in his NHL career
- Brady Skjei - 9 games away from 100 in his NHL career
- Mika Zibanejad - 7 points away from 200 in his NHL career
- Nick Holden - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career
INJURIES (4 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
- Jesper Fast (offseason hip surgery)
Oct. 10 - Assigned Filip Chytil to Hartford (AHL); Released Andrew Desjardins from Professional Tryout (PTO)
Oct. 9 - Claimed Adam Cracknell off waivers from Dallas
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Oct. 12, 1976 - While skating in his fourth career NHL game, Don Murdoch became the first player in Rangers history to tally five goals in a game, as the Blueshirts defeated the Minnesota North Stars, 10-4.
- Oct. 13, 1983 - The Rangers established a franchise record for the best start to a season. The Blueshirts improved to 5-0-0 to start the 1983-84 season with a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals at MSG.
- Oct. 13, 1993 - The Rangers established a single-game franchise record by tallying six power play goals in a 6-4 win against the Quebec Nordiques at MSG.
- Oct. 13, 2005 - Henrik Lundqvist earned his first career NHL win, making 20 saves as the Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, at MSG. The contest was also Lundqvist's first career game at MSG.
- Oct. 13, 2008 - The Rangers matched a franchise record for their best start to a season by winning their fifth consecutive game to open the 2008-09 season. The Blueshirts defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, at MSG, as Brandon Dubinsky (one goal, two assists) and Aaron Voros (two goals, one assist) each registered three points, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced to earn the win.