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Pregame Notes: Rangers at Penguins 02.17.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
TV: NBC, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Rangers: 25-24-8 (58 pts)
Penguins: 30-21-7 (67 pts)

THE MATCHUP

The Rangers play their 58th game of the 2018-19 season and continue a four-game road trip on Sunday, Feb. 17, against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Metropolitan Division matchup at PPG Paints Arena (12:30 p.m. ET - TV: NBC, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Beginning with Sunday's game, four of the Blueshirts' next five games are against teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have earned at least one point in eight of the last 12 games (7-4-1) and in nine of the last 14 games (8-5-1).

RANGERS VS. PENGUINS

  • All-Time: 128-111-23-14 (71-53-9-7 at home; 57-58-14-7 on the road)
  • 2018-19: Sunday's game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Penguins, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at Pittsburgh. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following the Penguins' 7-2 win on Jan. 2 at MSG. Following Sunday's game, the Rangers and Penguins will face each other on the following dates: Mar. 25 (at MSG), Apr. 6 (at Pittsburgh).
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in 17 of their last 24 games against the Penguins, dating back to Apr. 3, 2013 (11-7-6 record over the span). In addition, New York has earned at least one point in five of its last seven games against Pittsburgh, dating back to Mar. 31, 2017 (3-2-2 record).
  • Five of the last seven meetings between the Rangers and Penguins have been decided by one goal, and three of those seven contests have been decided in either overtime or a shootout. In addition, nine of the last 23 meetings between the two teams have been decided in either overtime or a shootout.
  • The Rangers have recorded six power play goals in their last seven games against the Penguins (6-for-17; 35.3%). The Blueshirts have also tallied 17 power play goals in their last 24 contests against Pittsburgh (17-for-73; 23.3% over the span).
  • Brian Leetch is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played (72), assists (70), and points (89) against the Penguins. Jean Ratelle is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against Pittsburgh (23), while Brad Park has posted the best plus/minus rating of any Ranger against the Penguins (plus-38 in 31 games).

RANGERS-PENGUINS CONNECTIONS

  • Glen Sather played parts of two seasons with the Penguins (1969-70 and 1970-71).
  • Matt Cullen played one season with the Rangers (2006-07).
  • Zach Aston-Reese is a native of Staten Island, New York.
  • Mike Sullivan served as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers for four seasons (2009-10 - 2012-13). Sullivan was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (69th overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Greg Brown played part of one season with the Penguins (1993-94).
  • David Quinn and Mike Sullivan were teammates at Boston University for two seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88; Quinn did not play in 1987-88 due to injury). In addition, Quinn and Sullivan were members of the same coaching staff with the United States at the 2007 IIHF World Championship.
  • Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, and Brian Dumoulin were all teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12); the three players helped Boston College win the National Championship in 2011-12, and Greg Brown was the team's Assistant Coach. Kreider and Dumoulin were teammates at Boston College for three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12) and helped the school win two National Championships (2009-10 and 2011-12); Brown was an Assistant Coach at the school for all three of those seasons.
  • Neal Pionk and Jake Guentzel were teammates with the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) for part of one season (2012-13).
  • Connor Brickley and Garrett Wilson were teammates in the Panthers organization for parts of three seasons (2013-14 - 2015-16).
  • Vladislav Namestnikov and Olli Maatta were teammates with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for one season (2011-12) and helped the Knights win the OHL Championship.
  • Brendan Smith and Justin Schultz were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2009-10).
  • Brady Skjei and Nick Bjugstad were teammates at the University of Minnesota for one season (2012-13).
  • Chris Kreider, Nick Bjugstad, and Brian Dumoulin helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Kevin Hayes, Brady Skjei, and Nick Bjugstad represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Sidney Crosby were both selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2005-06.
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Evgeni Malkin were both selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 2011-12, while Lundqvist and Kris Letang were both selected to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 2012-13.
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Patric Hornqvist have represented Sweden in several tournaments, including the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 2008 IIHF World Championship, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Marc Staal and Kris Letang helped Canada win a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in two consecutive years (2006 and 2007).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Patric Hornqvist helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Connor Brickley and Bryan Rust helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF U18 World Championship.
  • Ryan Strome and Tanner Pearson helped Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Chris Kreider, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Jack Johnson represented the United States at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov and Evgeni Malkin represented Russia at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Connor Brickley and Nick Bjugstad represented the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Phil Kessel was selected by Boston in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft; Boston's Interim General Manager was Jeff Gorton.
  • David Quinn has coached Phil Kessel with the United States in several tournaments, including the 2004 World U17 Hockey Challenge, the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World Championship.
  • David Quinn coached Phil Kessel and Jack Johnson at both the 2004 World U17 Hockey Challenge and the 2007 IIHF World Championship. Quinn and Mike Sullivan both coached Kessel and Johnson in 2007.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and Phil Kessel represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Marc Staal, Sidney Crosby, and Jack Johnson were all selected in the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Of the 30 players selected in the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Staal and Crosby are only two of four players who are still playing for the team that drafted them (Carey Price - Montreal; Anze Kopitar - Los Angeles).
  • Brady Skjei, Olli Maatta, and Tanner Pearson were all selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Pavel Buchnevich and Jake Guentzel were both selected in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (Buchnevich - 75th overall by the Rangers; Guentzel - 77th overall by Pittsburgh).
  • Tony DeAngelo and Jared McCann were both selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Marc Staal and Matt Murray are both natives of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Adam McQuaid and Mark Recchi helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2010-11.
  • Greg Brown and Bill Guerin were teammates at Boston College for two seasons (1988-89 and 1989-90).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Sergei Gonchar were teammates with the Senators for parts of two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13).
  • Sergei Gonchar was coached by Lindy Ruff for parts of two seasons with the Stars (2013-14 and 2014-15) and by Jim Schoenfeld for parts of three seasons with the Capitals (1994-95 - 1996-97).
  • Lindy Ruff was one of Sidney Crosby's Assistant Coaches with Team Canada when Canada won a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics. Jim Ramsay was Team Canada's Athletic Trainer in both tournaments.
  • Jake Guentzel and former Ranger (and current Director of Player Development) Jed Ortmeyer are two of three players in NHL history who were born in Nebraska.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. PENGUINS

  • Alexandar Georgiev - 2 GP, 1-0-0, 3.07 GAA, .915 SV% - Georgiev made 37 saves, and stopped Evgeni Malkin on a penalty shot, to earn a win against the Penguins on Mar. 14, 2018 at MSG.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov - 11 GP, 4-7-11 - Namestnikov has registered a point in eight of 11 career games against Pittsburgh, and he has recorded more assists and points against the Penguins than against any other opponent in his NHL career.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 28 GP, 4-14-18 - Zuccarello has recorded 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his last 22 contests against the Penguins.
  • Chris Kreider - 20 GP, 4-8-12 - Kreider established a single-game career-high with four points (one goal, three assists) on Mar. 14, 2018 against Pittsburgh at MSG. He has tallied 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his last 13 games against the Penguins.
  • Mika Zibanejad - 15 GP, 4-5-9 - Zibanejad has registered nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last 12 games against Pittsburgh, including six points (two goals, four assists) in his last seven contests and five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five games against the Penguins.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk - 13 GP, 2-5-7 - Shattenkirk has registered a point in six of his last eight games against Pittsburgh (one goal, five assists), including an assist/point in three of his last four contests (three assists).
  • Kevin Hayes - 16 GP, 3-4-7 - Hayes has recorded four points (one goal, assists) in his last nine games against Pittsburgh.
  • Ryan Strome - 16 GP, 3-4-7 - Strome tallied a goal in his first game against Pittsburgh as a member of the Rangers on Jan. 2, 2019 at MSG.
  • Jesper Fast - 17 GP, 3-3-6 - Fast has tallied a goal/point in two of the last four games against the Penguins (two goals), and he has also notched six points (three goals, three assists) in his last 13 games against Pittsburgh.
  • Pavel Buchnevich - 7 GP, 3-1-4 - Buchnevich has recorded a point in four of the last five games against the Penguins (three goals, one assist).
  • Brendan Smith - 14 GP, 2-2-4 - Smith has notched a point in each of his last two games against Pittsburgh (one goal, one assist).
  • Neal Pionk - 2 GP, 0-3-3 - Pionk established single-game career-highs with three assists and three points against the Penguins on Mar. 14, 2018 at MSG.

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Several Rangers players have connections with fellow members of the Blueshirts and/or members of the team's coaching staff in addition to being teammates with the Rangers:

  • Pavel Buchnevich and Alexandar Georgiev were teammates while representing Russia in international competition during the 2014-15 season.
  • Fredrik Claesson and Mika Zibanejad were teammates with several teams prior to joining the Rangers:
    • The two were teammates in Sweden with Djurgardens' U18 team, U20 team in SuperElit, and professional team in the SHL over the course of three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12).
    • Zibanejad and Claesson helped Sweden earn a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
    • Claesson and Zibanejad were both selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and were teammates in the Senators' organization (either with Ottawa or with Ottawa's American Hockey League (AHL) team, the Binghamton Senators) for parts of three seasons (2012-13 - 2013-14; 2015-16).
  • Fredrik Claesson and Jesper Fast represented Sweden in several tournaments over the course of three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12).
  • Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider were teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) and won the National Championship in 2011-12.
    • Greg Brown was either an Assistant Coach or Associate Head Coach at Boston College throughout Hayes' and Kreider's tenures at the school.
  • Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey were friends while growing up in Massachusetts.
  • Chris Kreider and Neal Pionk helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk represented the United States at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Adam McQuaid and Marc Staal were teammates with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for four seasons (2003-04 - 2006-07).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk was coached by David Quinn on several teams throughout his career before Quinn became the Rangers Head Coach:
    • Quinn was an Associate Head Coach at Boston University for two seasons while Shattenkirk attended the school (2007-08 and 2008-09), and Boston University won the National Championship in 2008-09.
    • Quinn was Shattenkirk's first Head Coach in professional hockey, as he coached Shattenkirk for parts of two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL).
  • David Oliver served as the Avalanche's Director of Player Development for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) while Kevin Shattenkirk was in the organization. Shattenkirk made his professional hockey debut in 2009-10 and his NHL debut with Colorado in 2010-11.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith were both selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (Shattenkirk - 14th overall by Colorado; Smith - 27th overall by Detroit).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk was coached by Rangers TV/Radio Analyst Dave Maloney when he was in high school.
  • Brady Skjei was coached by David Quinn at the 2016 IIHF World Championship (Quinn was an Assistant Coach with Team USA).
  • Brady Skjei was coached by Greg Brown at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship (Brown was an Assistant Coach with Team USA).
  • Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad were selected with back-to-back picks in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (Strome - fifth overall by the NY Islanders; Zibanejad - sixth overall by Ottawa). Vladislav Namestnikov was also selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Jimmy Vesey and Connor Brickley both attended Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts; Brickley's final season at the school was in 2008-09, and Vesey's final season at the school was in 2010-11.

WHAT A LINE

Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Mats Zuccarello have recorded 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in the last 13 games which all three players were in the lineup (since Jan. 12 at NY Islanders), including 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in the last 11 games which all three players were in the lineup (since Jan. 15 vs. Carolina). Since Jan. 15, Zibanejad has recorded more goals than any other NHL player (13) and his 19 points are the third-most among NHL players, while Zuccarello's 15 assists are tied for the most among NHL players over the span.

THREE'S COMPANY

The Rangers tied a single-game season-high with six goals on Feb. 15 at Buffalo. The Blueshirts have recorded at least three goals in each of the last three games, in 10 of the last 13 games, and in 11 of the last 15 games. Including team goals awarded for a shootout win, New York has notched three or more goals in 20 of the last 30 games and in 36 of 57 games this season.

ONE AND WON

Eight of the Rangers' last 11 games, 10 of their last 15 games, and 30 of their 57 games this season have been decided by one goal. The Blueshirts have posted a 15-7-8 record in one-goal games in 2018-19 and are tied for second in the NHL in wins in one-goal games this season.

MIKA MAGIC

Mika Zibanejad leads the Rangers in goals (25), assists (31), and points (56) this season; he has established career-highs in assists and points, and he is two goals away from tying his career-high (27 - 2017-18). He has tallied a goal in four of the last six games and in eight of the last 12 games, and he has recorded 13 goals over the last 12 contests. Zibanejad has registered a point in 11 of the last 14 games (13 goals, eight assists), including 11 of the last 12 games which the Rangers have registered a goal. Zibanejad registered 25 goals and 56 points through the first 56 games of the season in 2018-19; he became the first Rangers center to tally at least 25 goals and 56 points in the team's first 56 games of a season since Mark Messier in 1996-97.

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello has tallied a point in 12 of the last 13 games which he has played (five goals, 15 assists), and he enters the contest with a three-game assist/point streak (five assists over the span). He has posted a multi-point game in six of the last 12 games, including a multi-assist/point game in two of the last three contests. He has recorded 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in his last 26 games (since Dec. 14). In the 26 games he has played over the span, the Rangers are 18-for-70 on the power play (25.7%), and he has registered a point on nine of the 18 power play goals. In addition, Zuccarello has logged at least 20:00 of ice time in each of his last 10 games and in 13 of his last 14 games. 

HEY HEY HAYES

Kevin Hayes tallied his 40th point of the 2018-19 season on Feb. 15 at Buffalo. He has registered 40 or more points in each of the last three seasons and in four of five seasons in his NHL career. Thus far in Hayes' NHL career, 167 of his 214 points have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal. The Rangers have posted a 108-34-21 record in games which Hayes has tallied a point in his career.

ALEXANDAR THE GREAT

Alexandar Georgiev enters the contest with a three-game winning streak, and he has posted a 1.95 GAA and a .950 SV% in those three games. He made a single-game career-high 55 saves in the Rangers' win on Feb. 10 vs. Toronto. Georgiev's 55 saves were the second-most a Rangers goaltender has made in one game since the NHL began tracking saves in 1955-56 (Mike Richter holds the Rangers' single-game record for saves - 59 on Jan. 31, 1991 at Vancouver). In addition, Georgiev's 55 saves were the most by a Rangers goaltender in a game which the Rangers won, the most by a Rangers goaltender in a game that ended in regulation, and the most by a Rangers goaltender in a game at MSG. Georgiev ranks second among NHL rookie goaltenders in appearances (20) and saves (538), and he ranks fourth among NHL rookie goaltenders in wins (nine) this season.

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist earned his 446th career NHL win on Jan. 19 at Boston, passing Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for sole possession of sixth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. He made his 40th appearance of the 2018-19 season on Feb. 12 at Winnipeg, becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to appear in at least 40 games in each of his first 14 seasons in the league.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power Play:

  • The Rangers did not have a power play opportunity on Feb. 15 at Buffalo.
  • New York has recorded 10 power play goals in the last 12 games (10-for-30; 33.3%).
  • The Blueshirts have tallied 18 power play goals in the last 27 games (18-for-72; 25.0%).

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-3 (5:45) on Feb. 15 at Buffalo.
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in three of the last four games (10-for-11; 90.9%), in five of the last seven games (14-for-16; 87.5%), in seven of the last 10 games (23-for-27; 85.2%), and in 10 of the last 14 games (38-for-44; 86.4%).

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Ryan Strome - 4 games away from 400 in his NHL career
  • Adam McQuaid - 5 games away from 500 in his NHL career
  • Brendan Smith - 7 games away from 400 in his NHL career
  • Henrik Lundqvist - 7 wins away from tying Curtis Joseph for fifth place on the NHL's all-time wins list (454)
  • Mika Zibanejad - 9 points away from 300 in his NHL career

INJURIES (147 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Fredrik Claesson (shoulder) - has missed 13 games
  • Brett Howden (MCL sprain) - has missed eight games
  • Brady Skjei (lower-body) - day-to-day

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Feb. 14 - Recalled Connor Brickley from Hartford (AHL)
  • Feb. 13 - Assigned Vinni Lettieri to Hartford (AHL)
  • Feb. 12 - Acquired a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft from Vancouver in exchange for Marek Mazanec

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Feb. 16, 1964 - Andy Bathgate registered his final point as a Ranger, recording an assist on a goal by Vic Hadfield, as the Blueshirts defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2, at MSG. Bathgate was the Rangers' all-time leader in goals (272), assists (457), and points (729) at the time of his departure from the Rangers.
  • Feb. 17, 1960 - After Gump Worsley suffered two severed tendons during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Joe Schaefer, who was a statistician for the Rangers and the team's emergency goaltender, played the remainder of the game in goal. Schaefer, a native of Long Island, New York, became the first New York native to appear in a game for the Rangers.
  • Feb. 17, 1989 - Brian Leetch established a single-game Rangers rookie record for defensemen by registering five points (one goal, four assists) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at MSG.
  • Feb. 17, 2011 - Henrik Lundqvist earned his 200th career NHL win and became the fifth goaltender to earn at least 200 career wins with the Rangers, as the Blueshirts defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, in a shootout at MSG.

REMEMBERING 1993-94

Sergei Zubov, who tied for the NHL lead with 14 assists in February of 1994, led the Rangers in assists (77) and points (89) during the 1993-94 season. In addition, he ranked fourth in the NHL - and led all NHL defensemen - in assists, trailing only Wayne Gretzky, Doug Gilmour, and Adam Oates. Zubov's 89 points were also the second-most among NHL defensemen in 1993-94, trailing only Ray Bourque (91).

RANGERS VS. PENGUINS - 1993-94

The Rangers posted a 2-2-0 record in four games against Pittsburgh during the 1993-94 season. The Blueshirts scored six power play goals in four games against the Penguins (6-for-23; 26.1%). Mark Messier led the Rangers with five points (two goals, three assists) in four games, while Sergei Zubov led the team with four assists in the season series.

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