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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Columbus

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Arena – Columbus, OH
  • Rangers: 1-0-0
  • Blue Jackets: 1-0-0

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers conclude their two-game road trip tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena (7:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight is the first half of back-to-back contests for the Blueshirts, as they play their home opener on Sunday, Oct. 12, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home, 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues in their regular season opener on Thursday. Columbus enters tonight’s game with a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home, 1-0-0 on the road), following a 3-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres in their regular season opener on Thursday.

RANGERS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • All-Time: 7-7-1-1 (3-2-1-1 at home; 4-5-0-0 on the road)
  • 2014-15: Tonight is the first of four contests this season between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, and the first of two matchups at Nationwide Arena. Following tonight’s game, the Rangers and Blue Jackets will face off again on the following dates: Jan. 16 (at Columbus), Feb. 22 (at MSG), Apr. 6 (at MSG).
  • Last Season: The Rangers posted a 2-1-1 record (0-1-1 at home, 2-0-0 on the road) against Columbus last season. New York was 3-for-16 on the power play (18.8%) and 10-for-10 on the penalty kill (100%) over the four contests. Mats Zuccarello led all skaters with four assists and four points during the season series, while Carl Hagelin led all skaters with three goals in the four contests. Ryan McDonagh led all Rangers defensemen with three points (one goal, two assists) during the season series. Cam Talbot posted a 1-0-0 record with a 1.67 GAA and a .938 SV% in two appearances against the Blue Jackets.
  • The Rangers have won three out of their last four games in Columbus, allowing two goals or fewer in each of their victories.
  • New York lists three former Blue Jackets on its roster: Derick Brassard (2007-08 - 2012-13), John Moore (2010-11 - 2012-13), and Rick Nash (2002-03 - 2011-12)
  • Columbus lists four former Rangers on its roster: Artem Anisimov (2008-09 - 2011-12), Brandon Dubinsky (2006-07 - 2011-12), Tim Erixon (2011-12), and Fedor Tyutin (2003-04 - 2007-08)

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • Cam Talbot - 2 GP, 1-0-0, 1.67 GAA, .938 SV%
  • Lee Stempniak - 39 GP, 6-17-23 - Stempniak has registered more assists against Columbus than any NHL opponent, and his 39 games against the Blue Jackets are tied for the most he has played against one NHL opponent (he has also played 39 against Chicago)
  • Martin St. Louis - 15 GP, 7-7-14 - St. Louis has tallied a point in seven of his last nine games against the Blue Jackets (four goals, five assists over the span)
  • Dominic Moore - 15 GP, 1-8-9
  • Dan Girardi - 9 GP, 2-3-5 - Has tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in four career games at Nationwide Arena

UPCOMING MILESTONES

SPECIAL TEAMS- POWER PLAY

  • New York was 0-for-3 (4:50) on the power play at St. Louis on Thursday
  • Leaders in PP ice time: McDonagh (3:08), Brassard (2:32), Kreider (2:31)
  • Leaders in PP shots on goal: McDonagh (1)

SPECIAL TEAMS- PENALTY KILL

  • The Rangers were 5-for-5 (8:22) on the penalty kill at St. Louis on Thursday
  • New York is tied for first in the NHL on the penalty kill this season (5-for-5; 100%)
  • Leaders in PK ice time: McDonagh (4:47), Girardi (4:47), D. Moore (4:46)
  • Leaders in PK blocked shots: McDonagh (1), Staal (1)

BACK-TO-BACK
The Rangers begin the first of 13 back-to-back sets this season tonight. Last season, the Blueshirts posted a 14-9-1 record in 24 games that were part of back-to-back matchups, including a 9-4-0 record in road games that were part of back-to-back sets. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, the Rangers have posted a 33-15-2 record in the second half of back-to-back contests.

AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault has reached the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons, including each of the last six seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2006-07 Jack Adams Award winner leads all NHL coaches in wins (359), is tied for first in games coached (623), and ranks seventh among all coaches (minimum 300 games coached) in win percentage (.627) since the start of the 2006-07 season.

CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh
was named the 27th captain in Rangers history on October 6. The Rangers' Team MVP in 2013-14 is the fourth-youngest captain in franchise history, and is the 11th defenseman to receive the honor. Last season, the 25-year-old established career-highs in goals (14), assists (29), points (43), power play points (13), shorthanded goals (three), game-winning goals (four), and average ice time (24:49). In the 2014 Playoffs, McDonagh tied for first among NHL defensemen in assists (13), and ranked second among NHL defensemen in points (17). He established a franchise record for assists by a defenseman in one playoff series with eight during the Rangers’ six-game series victory over Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals.

PERFECT 10
Henrik Lundqvist
is in his 10th season with the Rangers. Lundqvist is the fifth goaltender to play at least 10 years with the Blueshirts, joining Mike Richter, Ed Giacomin, John Vanbiesbrouck, and Gump Worsley. By starting against St. Louis on Thursday, the Rangers' all-time wins and shutouts leader became the third goaltender in franchise history to start at least nine consecutive regular season openers (2006-07 - 2014-15), joining Giacomin (11 - 1965-66 - 1975-76) and Worsley (nine - 1954-55 - 1962-63).

Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Lundqvist leads all goalies (minimum 200 appearances) in appearances (575), wins (310), GAA (2.26), and shutouts (50), and ranks second in SV% (.920).

ROAD WARRIORS
The Rangers established a franchise record for road victories in one season with 25 in 2013-14. The Blueshirts are the only team that won at least 24 road games in three seasons between 2010-11 and 2013-14, and they are tied for second in the NHL in road victories (84) since the start of the 2010-11 season.

RICK ROLLING
Rick Nash
tallied three points (two goals, one assist), including the game-winning goal with 1:50 remaining in regulation, on Thursday against St. Louis. The five-time NHL All-Star is the only player in the NHL to have an active streak of 10 consecutive 20-goal seasons. Since joining the Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season, Nash leads all NHL players in 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes. Nash, who was selected by Columbus with the first overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, is the Blue Jackets' all-time leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258), points (547), power play goals (83), shorthanded goals (14), and game-winning goals (seven).

SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
Martin St. Louis
tallied two assists in the season opener against the Blues. He leads all NHL players in points (398) and ranks third among NHL players in assists (266) since the start of the 2009-10 season. St. Louis is also one of two players in NHL history to skate in at least 1,000 career games, record 600 or more assists, register at least 950 points, and not amass more than 300 penalty minutes (along with Jean Ratelle). St. Louis is 17 points away from tallying the 1,000th of his NHL career.

1,000 MEN
Dan Boyle
, Anthony Duclair, Tanner Glass, and Lee Stempniak all made their Ranger debuts on Thursday against St. Louis. Over the Blueshirts' 89-year history, 1,000 players have appeared in at least one regular season or playoff game with the team.

FUTURE BLUE

  • Pavel Buchnevich (3rd round, 75th overall, in 2013 Draft) has registered four points (one goal, three assists) in two games this week with Severstal Cherepovets (KHL). The 19-year-old is tied for the team lead in goals (six) and points (13), ranks second in shots on goal (42), is tied for third in assists (seven), and is tied for fifth in plus/minus rating (plus-seven) this season.
  • Brandon Halverson (2nd round, 59th overall, in 2014 Draft), recorded his fifth win of the season on Wednesday as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) defeated the Sudbury Wolves, 6-1. The 18-year-old has posted a 5-0-0 record, along with a 2.00 GAA, a .935 SV%, and 1 SO in his first five appearances this season. Halverson is tied for first in the OHL in wins, is tied for second in shutouts, ranks third in GAA, and ranks fourth in SV% and saves (144). Dating back to last season, Halverson has posted a 9-0-1 record, along with a 2.09 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 2 SO in his last 10 OHL games.

INJURIES (2 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Derek Stepan (non-displaced fractured fibula) - placed on long-term injured reserve
  • Dan Boyle (fractured hand) - 4-6 weeks

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

QUOTEBOOK

  • "I was shocked, but at the same time, it was impressive. You could tell already in the preseason he's been playing with more of an edge. It's good for the team." - Henrik Lundqvist on Mats Zuccarello's first career fight in the season opener against St. Louis
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