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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Lightning 11.2.17

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
 
Rangers: 4-7-2 (10 pts)
Lightning: 10-2-1 (21 pts)
 
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 14th game of the 2017-18 season tonight, Nov. 2, against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: WOR 710 AM). The Blueshirts have won three of their last five games (3-2-0 record) and have earned at least one point in five of their last seven contests (3-2-2 record).
 

RANGERS VS. LIGHTNING

  • All-Time: 47-36-5-7 (26-17-2-4 at home; 21-19-3-3 on the road)
  • 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Lightning, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at Tampa Bay. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Lightning will play against each other on the following dates: Mar. 8 (at Tampa Bay), Mar. 30 (at MSG).
  • 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (1-1-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). The Blueshirts outscored the Lightning, 9-4, in the season series, allowing one goal or fewer in two of the three contests. In addition, two of the three contests were decided by one goal. Michael Grabner led all skaters with four goals and four points in the season series, and he registered a hat trick on Oct. 30, 2016 at MSG. Mika Zibanejad tallied the game-winning goal in overtime in the Rangers' 1-0 win on Mar. 6, 2017 at Tampa Bay.
  • The Rangers have won four of their last five games against Tampa Bay, dating back to Dec. 30, 2015 (4-1-0 record over the span). The Blueshirts have outscored the Lightning, 17-8, in the five contests.
  • Seven of the last 11 regular season meetings between the Rangers and Lightning have been decided by one goal (dating back to Dec. 29, 2013).

RANGERS-LIGHTNING CONNECTIONS

  • Dan Girardi played parts of 11 seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 - 2016-17) and ranks ninth on the franchise's all-time games played list (788).
  • Ryan Callahan played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 - 2013-14) and served as the team's captain for parts of three seasons (2011-12 - 2013-14).
  • Anton Stralman played three seasons with the Rangers (2011-12 - 2013-14) and helped the Blueshirts advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14.
  • Alain Vigneault and Lightning Associate Coach Rick Bowness were members of the same coaching staff in Ottawa and Vancouver. Vigneault was an Assistant Coach on Bowness' staff with the Senators for parts of four seasons (1992-93 - 1995-96), and Bowness was an Assistant Coach on Vigneault's staff for seven seasons (2006-07 - 2012-13).
  • Rick Nash and Chris Kunitz helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Henrik Lundqvist, Victor Hedman, and Anton Stralman helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Lundqvist, Hedman, and Stralman also represented Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. In addition, Lundqvist and Stralman represented Sweden at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.
  • Brady Skjei, Slater Koekkoek, and Andrei Vasilevskiy were all selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • David Desharnais and Peter Budaj were teammates with the Canadiens for three seasons (2011-12 - 2013-14).
  • Rick Nash and Anton Stralman were teammates with the Blue Jackets for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) prior to being teammates with the Rangers for two seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and Peter Budaj were teammates with the Avalanche for one season (2010-11).
  • Chris Kreider and Tyler Johnson helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Pavel Buchnevich and Andrei Vasilevskiy helped Russia earn a bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Tyler Johnson all represented the United States at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Ondrej Pavelec and Ondrej Palat represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Pavelec, Palat, and Andrej Sustr all represented the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Kevin Hayes and Tyler Johnson represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Marc Staal and Steven Stamkos represented Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
  • David Desharnais and Gabriel Dumont were teammates with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL) for part of one season (2010-11). The two were also teammates with the Canadiens for several games over parts of four seasons (2011-12 - 2014-15).
  • David Desharnais and Mikhail Sergachev were teammates with the Canadiens for part of one season (2016-17).
  • Lightning Assistant Coach Todd Richards was Rick Nash's head coach for part of one season with the Blue Jackets (2011-12). Richards also served as an Assistant Coach with the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and Team USA's roster included Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Ryan Callahan. 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. LIGHTNING

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 38 GP, 19-13-6, 2.38 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last two appearances against Tampa Bay, posting a 2.00 GAA and a .937 SV% (59 saves on 63 shots) in the two contests. 
  • Rick Nash - 25 GP, 10-9-19 - Since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash has recorded 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 15 regular season games against the Lightning.
  • Michael Grabner - 18 GP, 10-3-13 - Grabner has tallied four goals/points in his last two games against Tampa Bay, and he has registered a goal in eight of 18 career games against the Lightning.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 17 GP, 0-12-12 - McDonagh has recorded at least one assist/point in nine of 17 career regular season games against the Lightning.
  • David Desharnais - 22 GP, 4-7-11 - Desharnais has registered a point in three of his last six games against Tampa Bay (one goal, two assists).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk - 9 GP, 3-5-8 - Shattenkirk tied single-game career-highs with two goals and four points on Dec. 1, 2016 vs. Tampa Bay as a member of the St. Louis Blues. 

PERFECT 10
Five Rangers tallied at least 10 points in October this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers had five players register 10 or more points in one calendar month for the first time since February of 2015. In addition, the Blueshirts had at least five players tally 10 or more points in October for the first time since October of 1996. The Rangers are one of three NHL teams that have at least five players who have recorded 10 or more points this season.
 
NOVEMBER REIGN
Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Rangers lead the NHL in wins in November (93; 93-50-10 record over the span). The Blueshirts posted a 10-4-1 record in 15 games in November last season. New York led the NHL in goals (53) and tied for the NHL lead in wins (10) during November of 2016. Kevin Hayes led the Rangers with eight goals and 13 points last November, while Michael Grabner led the NHL with a plus-13 rating during the month.
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have registered at least three goals in six of the last seven games, including four or more goals in five of those contests (27 goals over the span), and 12 different Blueshirts have tallied a goal in the seven contests. The Rangers rank third in the NHL in goals since Oct. 17 (27). New York has recorded at least four goals in each of the last three games (15 goals over the span) and tallied a single-game season-high six goals in its last game on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas. Through 13 games this season, 14 different Rangers have registered at least one goal, and 12 different Rangers have tallied at least two goals. The Rangers are one of two NHL teams that have 12 players who have registered two or more goals this season (along with New Jersey).
 
WHAT A LINE
The Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich line registered six points (three goals, three assists) and recorded 14 shots on goal in the Rangers' last game on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas, and each of the three players tallied a goal in the contest.
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York ranks second in the NHL - and leads Eastern Conference teams - in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (99). The Rangers led the NHL in wins (27) and points (56) on the road last season.
 
FIRST IN SCORE
The Rangers have recorded the first goal of the game in five of the last nine contests and in six of the last 11 contests. The Blueshirts have posted a 4-2-0 record in games which they tallied the first goal thus far in 2017-18. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL in first period goals this season (13).
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault earned his 618th career win as an NHL head coach on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas, passing Jacques Lemaire for sole possession of 13th place on the league's all-time wins list among head coaches. He is two wins away from tying Bryan Murray for 12th place on the NHL's all-time wins list among head coaches. Vigneault leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 games coached) in points percentage in franchise history (.619).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 408th career NHL win on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas, passing Glenn Hall for sole possession of ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. He has made at least 30 saves in three of his last six appearances.
 
BUCH BOOST
Pavel Buchnevich enters the contest with a four-game point streak (four goals, two assists, plus-five rating over the span), including a three-game goal streak. In addition, Buchnevich has posted two multi-point games in the last four contests. He has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last seven games, and he ranks second on the Rangers in goals this season (five). 
  
MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad registered three points in the third period (one goal, two assists) and tallied the game-winning goal on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas. He enters the contest with a four-game point streak (three goals, four assists), including a three-game assist streak. In addition, Zibanejad has posted a multi-point game in each of the last two contests, recording five points (two goals, three assists) over the span. He has tallied a point in nine of 13 games this season, including a goal in seven games, and he is tied for third in the NHL in games with a goal this season. Zibanejad leads the Rangers in several categories this season, including goals (eight), points (13), and power play goals (five). He has already established a career-high in power play goals, and he is tied for the NHL lead in power play goals in 2017-18.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has tallied seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last eight games. He leads the Rangers in even strength assists (six) and even strength points (seven), is tied for the team lead in assists (eight), and is tied for second in points (10) this season.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a three-game assist/point streak (three assists) and has registered an assist/point in five of the last seven games (five assists).
 
SHATT STATS
Kevin Shattenkirk is tied for first among NHL defensemen in primary assists this season (six), and he leads Rangers defensemen in primary assists, assists (eight), and points (10) thus far in 2017-18. Shattenkirk is also tied for second among NHL defensemen in games with a point this season (eight).
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider has tallied a goal/point in three of the last five games (three goals) and has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last 12 games.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-5 (7:34) on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas.
  • The Blueshirts rank 10th in power play efficiency this season (21.2%; 11-for-52).
  • New York has tallied a power play goal in each of the last two games and in seven of 13 games this season.

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on Oct. 31 vs. Vegas.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Mats Zuccarello - 4 games away from 400 in his NHL career
  • Chris Kreider - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Nick Holden - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career 

INJURIES (5 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
None
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Nov. 1, 1959 - Andy Bathgate's wrist shot hit Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante in the face, forcing Plante to return to the ice wearing a mask. Plante became the first goalie in modern-day NHL history to wear a mask during a game.
  • Nov. 2, 1975 - Two days after being placed on waivers by the Rangers, Ed Giacomin returned to MSG as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. While receiving cheers from Rangers fans throughout the entire game, Giacomin led Detroit to a 6-4 win.
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