NEW YORK RANGERS at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
Rangers: 0-1-0 (0 pts)
Maple Leafs: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
The Rangers play their second game of the 2017-18 season and begin a back-to-back set tonight, Oct. 7, against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight's game marks the start of the Rangers' first back-to-back set of the season, and the Blueshirts will play 11 back-to-back sets in 2017-18.
RANGERS VS. MAPLE LEAFS
- All-Time*: 230-276-95-7 (132-113-56-4 at home; 98-163-39-3 on the road) *Note: The first three games between the two franchises were when the Maple Leafs franchise was called the Toronto St. Patricks. The franchise changed its name during the 1926-27 season.
- 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the only meeting between the two teams in Toronto. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Maple Leafs will play against each other on the following dates: Dec. 23 (at MSG), Feb. 1 (at MSG).
- 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (0-1-0 at home; 2-0-0 on the road). J.T. Miller led all skaters with three goals in the season series, and he registered a goal in all three contests. Kevin Hayes led the Rangers with three assists in the season series, while Michael Grabner recorded two goals in three games. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-1-0 record with a 2.27 GAA and a .918 SV% in three appearances.
- The Rangers have won six of their last seven games against Toronto, dating back to Feb. 10, 2015 (6-1-0 record over the span).
- The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 13 of their last 17 games against the Maple Leafs, dating back to Jan. 14, 2012 (12-4-1 record over the span).
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, New York has earned at least one point in 11 of 13 road games against Toronto (10-2-1 record over the span).
RANGERS-MAPLE LEAFS CONNECTIONS
- Michael Grabner played one season with Toronto (2015-16).
- Dominic Moore played parts of five seasons with the Rangers (2003-04 - 2005-06; 2013-14 - 2015-16).
- Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan played two seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 and 2007-08).
- The Rangers have three Ontario-born players on their roster: Rick Nash (Brampton, ON), Brendan Smith (Mimico, ON), and Marc Staal (Thunder Bay, ON).
- Jimmy Vesey's father, Jim, is an Amateur Scout with the Maple Leafs.
- William Nylander is the son of former Ranger Michael Nylander, who played two seasons with the Blueshirts (2005-06 and 2006-07). Henrik Lundqvist and Michael Nylander were teammates with the Rangers in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
- Henrik Lundqvist and William Nylander helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
- Kevin Shattenkirk and James Van Riemsdyk were teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program for two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07). In addition, Shattenkirk and van Riemsdyk represented the United States in several tournaments together, including the 2014 Winter Olympics.
- Michael Grabner and Matt Martin were teammates with the Islanders for five seasons (2010-11 - 2014-15).
- Rick Nash and Patrick Marleau helped Canada win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014.
- Brendan Smith's first head coach in the NHL was Toronto's current head coach, Mike Babcock (with Detroit for parts of four seasons; 2011-12 - 2014-15).
- Ondrej Pavelec and Ron Hainsey were teammates with Atlanta/Winnipeg for parts of five seasons (2008-09 - 2012-13).
- Ondrej Pavelec and Eric Fehr were teammates with Winnipeg for one season (2011-12).
- Rick Nash and Ron Hainsey were teammates with Columbus for three seasons (2005-06 - 2007-08).
- Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and James van Riemsdyk all represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Ryan McDonagh and Jake Gardiner were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10).
- Chris Kreider and Jake Gardiner helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- J.T. Miller, Auston Matthews, and Morgan Rielly were teammates with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
- Tony DeAngelo and Auston Matthews represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Brady Skjei and Auston Matthews represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
- Brady Skjei and Connor Carrick represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- James van Riemsdyk was born in Middletown, New Jersey, and he was a Rangers fan as a kid.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. MAPLE LEAFS
- Henrik Lundqvist - 29 GP, 15-9-5, 2.72 GAA, .903 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has helped the Rangers earn at least one point in seven of his last eight road appearances against Toronto, dating back to Feb. 25, 2009 (5-1-2 record, 1.82 GAA, .937 SV%, 1 SO over the span).
- Mats Zuccarello - 13 GP, 9-7-16 - Zuccarello has recorded a point in seven of his last eight games against the Maple Leafs, registering 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) over the span.
- J.T. Miller - 10 GP, 4-4-8 - Miller enters the contest with a four-game point streak against Toronto (three goals, three assists over the span), including a three-game goal streak.
- Rick Nash - 22 GP, 6-13-19 - Nash has tallied nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last eight contests against Toronto.
- Michael Grabner - 18 GP, 9-5-14 - Grabner has notched 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his last 10 contests against the Maple Leafs, including six points (five goals, one assist) in his last six games against Toronto. He has posted three multi-point games in his last six contests against the Maple Leafs.
- David Desharnais - 29 GP, 7-11-18 - Desharnais has recorded a goal/point in four of his last eight games against Toronto (five goals over the span) and has tallied 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his last 14 games against the Maple Leafs.
- Kevin Shattenkirk - 9 GP, 2-4-6 - Shattenkirk registered a point in all three games he played against the Maple Leafs last season (one goal, two assists).
- Chris Kreider - 12 GP, 3-5-8 - Kreider has tallied a point in seven of 12 career games against Toronto.
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 40-11-4 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 during the 2016-17 season.
WHAT A LINE
The Rangers' top line (Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich) recorded three points (two goals, one assist) and 14 shots on goal in the first game of the season on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. All three players logged at least 7:00 of ice time on the power play in the contest, and Buchnevich established a single-game career-high with 18:22 of ice time overall in the game.
HOT AT THE DOT
New York won 35 of 55 faceoffs on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado (63.6%), including 16 of 24 faceoffs taken in the offensive zone (66.7%). Two forwards posted a faceoff percentage of 75.0% or better in the contest (J.T. Miller and Mika Zibanejad).
Of the 23 players on the Rangers' roster, 12 have made their NHL debut with the Rangers and have only played with the Blueshirts in their NHL career (Buchnevich, Chytil, Fast, Hayes, Kreider, Lundqvist, McDonagh, Miller, Skjei, Staal, Vesey, and Zuccarello).
New York's roster features at least one player from seven different countries: the United States of America (Carey, DeAngelo, Hayes, Kampfer, Kreider, McDonagh, Miller, Shattenkirk, Skjei, and Vesey), Canada (Desharnais, Holden, Nash, Smith, and Staal), Sweden (Fast, Lundqvist, and Zibanejad), Czech Republic (Chytil and Pavelec), Austria (Grabner), Norway (Zuccarello), and Russia (Buchnevich).
Mika Zibanejad registered two goals, both on the power play, and led all skaters with eight shots on goal and 18 faceoff wins (18-for-24; 75.0%) on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. Zibanejad also won 10 of 11 faceoffs he took in the offensive zone during the game (90.9%). He tied single-game career-highs in power play goals, shots on goal, and faceoff wins in the contest. Zibanejad has recorded 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) in 57 games as a member of the Rangers (0.68 points per game).
Henrik Lundqvist made his 12th consecutive start in a season-opening game with the Rangers on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado, becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to start in 12 regular season openers, as well as 12 consecutive season openers. Lundqvist ranks 10th on the NHL's all-time wins list (405), and he is two wins away from tying Glenn Hall for ninth place on the league's all-time wins list. Lundqvist has appeared in 743 NHL games in his career. When he makes his next appearance, he will tie Chris Osgood for 20th place on the NHL's all-time appearances list.
Kevin Shattenkirk tallied a power play assist, which was his first assist/point as a Ranger, and led the team with 23:48 of ice time while making his Rangers debut on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. Shattenkirk established career-highs in assists (43), points (56), power play goals (eight), and power play points (27) last season, and he was one of four NHL defensemen who recorded at least 10 goals and 40 assists in 2016-17 (Burns, Hedman, and Karlsson).
Filip Chytil made his NHL/Rangers debut on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. By playing in the Rangers' regular season opener, Chytil, who was 18 years and 30 days old on Oct. 5, became ...
the fourth-youngest player to appear in a game with the Rangers in franchise history; the only players who were younger were Harry Lumley (17 years, 42 days on Dec. 23, 1943), Len Wharton (17 years, 81 days on Mar. 4, 1945), and Don Raleigh (17 years, 125 days on Oct. 30, 1943). *note is per the Elias Sports Bureau
the sixth-youngest player to appear in an NHL game since expansion (1967-68 season); the only players who were younger were Patrick Marleau, Grant Mulvey, Martin Lapointe, Jordan Staal, and Chris Joseph *note is per the Elias Sports Bureau
the first 18-year-old to appear in a game with the Rangers since Dan Blackburn on Apr. 13, 2002 at Philadelphia.
the first 18-year-old skater (forward or defenseman) to play in a game with the Rangers since Manny Malhotra on Apr. 18, 1999 vs. Pittsburgh (the contest was Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game).
Mats Zuccarello was named an alternate captain on Oct. 4. Zuccarello established career-highs in several categories last season, including assists (44), even strength assists (35), and even strength points (45).
- The Rangers were 2-for-6 (9:53) and registered 15 shots on goal on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado.
- The Rangers tied for 10th in the NHL in power play efficiency in 2016-17 (20.2%; 47-for-233).
- The Rangers were 4-for-5 (6:58) on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado.
- New York tied for sixth in the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2016-17 (nine).
- Kevin Shattenkirk - 1 point away from 300 in his NHL career
INJURIES (1 Man-Game Lost to Injury)
- Jesper Fast (offseason hip surgery)
- Oct. 2 - Agreed to terms with Brandon Crawley on an entry-level contract
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Oct. 6, 1976 - Nick Fotiu made his NHL/Rangers debut.
- Oct. 6, 1996 - Wayne Gretzky played his first game as a Ranger at Madison Square Garden.
- Oct. 7, 1955 - Andy Hebenton made his NHL/Rangers debut, playing the first of a franchise-record, 560 consecutive games with the Blueshirts.
- Oct. 7, 1991 - Prior to playing his first game as a Ranger at Madison Square Garden, Mark Messier was named the 22nd captain in franchise history. The Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins, 2-1, in overtime, as Mike Gartner registered the game-winning goal.
- Oct. 7, 2001 - The Rangers played their first regular season game at home since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Rangers and their opponents, the Buffalo Sabres, both wore jerseys with "New York" on the front, and in a pre-game ceremony, Mark Messier donned the firefighter's helmet of FDNY chief Ray Downey, who passed away in the attack. The Blueshirts won the game, 5-4, in overtime, as Brian Leetch tallied the game-winning goal.