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Pregame Notes: Rangers @ Sabres 01.26.21

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

TODAY'S GAME
The Rangers play their sixth game of the 2020-21 season and continue a four-game road trip, as well as begin a two-game set, today, Jan. 26, against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG 2, Radio: ESPN 1050 AM).

RANGERS VS. SABRES

  • All-Time: 77-78-25-5 (43-31-15-3 at home; 34-47-10-2 on the road)
  • 2020-21: The Rangers are playing Buffalo in the first of eight games between the two teams. The Blueshirts are also scheduled to play against the Sabres on the following dates: Jan. 28 (at Buffalo), Mar. 2 (at MSG), Mar. 22 (at MSG), Apr. 1 (at Buffalo), Apr. 3 (at Buffalo), Apr. 25 (at MSG), Apr. 27 (at MSG). New York is playing eight games against Buffalo in one season for the first time in franchise history; prior to the 2020-21 season, the most games the Rangers had played against the Sabres in one season was six (three times, most recently in 1972-73).
  • 2019-20: The Rangers posted a 1-1-0 record (1-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road). Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome tied for first among all skaters with two goals in the season series, and seven different Rangers tallied two points in the two contests.
  • The Rangers and Sabres are in the same division for the fifth season (1970-71 - 1973-74; 2020-21) - East (1970-71 - 1973-74), MassMutual NHL East (2020-21).
  • New York is playing its first road game against Buffalo since Feb. 15, 2019. The Rangers have won eight of their last 10 road games against the Sabres, dating back to Apr. 19, 2013 (8-2-0 record).
  • The Rangers have won three of their last four games against Buffalo (3-1-0 record) and have outscored the Sabres, 17-8, in the four games, as well as 14-7 in the last three contests. The Blueshirts have won seven of their last nine games against the Sabres, dating back to Feb. 2, 2017 (7-2-0 record). In addition, the Rangers have won 16 of their last 21 games against Buffalo, dating back to Apr. 19, 2013 (16-5-0 record).
  • Six of the last 12 meetings between the Blueshirts and Sabres, including four of the last nine meetings, have been decided by one goal.
  • Since Oct. 7, 2001, 48 of 63 regular season meetings between the Rangers and Sabres have been decided by two or fewer goals (76.2%), and 31 of 63 meetings have been decided by one goal or fewer (49.2%).
  • Brian Leetch and Rod Gilbert both registered 41 points against Buffalo in their Rangers tenure, which is tied for the most points any Ranger has tallied against the Sabres in franchise history. Gilbert is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against Buffalo (17) and Leetch is the Blueshirts' all-time leader in assists against the Sabres (38). Henrik Lundqvist's 22 career wins and 38 career appearances against the Sabres are each the most any Rangers goaltender has earned against Buffalo in franchise history.
  • Most goals by the Rangers in one game against Buffalo: 9 - Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo (9-5 win)
  • Most goals in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 3 (seven times) - most recently, Brad Richards on Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo
  • Most assists in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 4 - Jean Ratelle on Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo
  • Most points in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 5 (three times) - Dave Balon on Dec. 22, 1970 at Buffalo (three goals, two assists); Jean Ratelle on Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo (one goal, four assists); Derick Brassard on Jan. 25, 2016 vs. Buffalo (two goals, three assists)
  • Most saves in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 47 (twice) - John Vanbiesbrouck on Mar. 4, 1988 at Buffalo; Mike Richter on Nov. 27, 2001 at Buffalo
  • Last hat trick by a Ranger against Buffalo: Brad Richards on Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo
  • Last hat trick by a Ranger at home against Buffalo: None
  • Last shutout by a Ranger against Buffalo: Mar. 14, 2015 at Buffalo (Mackenzie Skapski - 20 saves in 2-0 win)
  • Last shutout by a Ranger at home against Buffalo: Oct. 31, 2013 vs. Buffalo (Henrik Lundqvist - 29 saves in 2-0 win)
  • Last Rangers overtime game against Buffalo: Jan. 1, 2018 at Buffalo - 2018 NHL Winter Classic; game played at Citi Field in Queens, NY (3-2 win; game-winning goal - J.T. Miller at 2:43 of overtime)


YOUTH SERVED
The average age of a player on the Rangers' active roster this season is 25.6 years old, which is the youngest in the NHL. The Rangers have seven players 22 years old or younger on their active roster (Chytil, Fox, Howden, Kakko, Lafrenière, Lindgren, and Miller), and the Blueshirts have had more players who are 22 years old or younger play at least one game this season than any other NHL team.
 
SHOOTING GALLERY
The Blueshirts have outshot their opponent in each of the last four games, registering 142 shots on goal and allowing 98 shots on goal over the span. New York ranks fourth in the NHL in shots on goal per game in 2020-21 (33.2), and have allowed the sixth-fewest shots on goal against per game in the NHL thus far this season (26.2). The Rangers have held their opponent to 10 shots or goal or fewer in each of the last 12 regulation periods, dating back to the start of their second game of the season on Jan. 16 vs. NY Islanders.
 
SECOND HELPING
The Rangers have recorded eight goals in the second period in 2020-21, which is tied for the fourth-most in the NHL. The Blueshirts have also outshot their opponents, 64-46, in the second period this season.
 
DRAW IT UP
The Rangers have drawn 26 penalties and have taken 17 penalties through five games this season. New York's plus-nine net penalty differential is the second-best in the NHL in 2020-21 (Buffalo - plus-13). The Rangers were not assessed a penalty on Jan. 24 at Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts were not assessed a penalty in a road game for the first time since Mar. 16, 2016 at Anaheim. The Rangers have not been shorthanded more than twice in each of the last three games (four times shorthanded over the span).
 
ROAD WARRIORS
Dating back to last season, New York has earned at least one point in 12 of its last 14 regular season road games (10-2-2 record). The Rangers ranked fifth in the NHL in points percentage (.603) and tied for seventh in the NHL in wins on the road in 2019-20.
 
RESILIENT RANGERS

The Rangers have posted a 1-1-1 record in the game following a loss in 2020-21. Dating back to their loss on Oct. 22, 2019 vs. Arizona, the Rangers have posted a 21-9-1 record in their last 31 games which have followed a loss.
 
HART-EMI

Artemi Panarin recorded his 100th career point with the Rangers while skating in his 73rd career game with the team on Jan. 22 at Pittsburgh. According to NHL Stats and Information, he tallied his first 100 career points with the Rangers in fewer games than any other player in franchise history (Mark Messier was previously the fastest player to tally his first 100 career points with the Rangers - 74 games). Panarin is one of four NHL players who have registered 100 or more points since the start of last season (Draisaitl, McDavid, MacKinnon), and his plus-36 rating since the start of last season is the best in the NHL.
 
WHAT THE FOX SAYS
Adam Fox enters the contest with a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists), and he has logged at least 25:00 of ice time in each of the last three games, including a single-game career-high 26:02 of ice time on Jan. 22 at Pittsburgh. He is tied for fifth in the NHL in power play points (four) and is tied for eighth in the NHL in power play assists (three) in 2020-21, and he is also tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in points (five) this season. Since Dec. 31, 2019, Fox has recorded 30 points (four goals, 26 assists) and a plus-19 rating in 37 games; his plus-19 rating is the second-best among NHL defensemen, and his 26 assists and 30 points are each tied for the second-most among NHL defensemen over the span.
 
KEY TO SUCCESS

K'Andre Miller's ice time has increased from game to game through each of his first five career NHL games (13:59 on Jan. 14 vs. NY Islanders; 14:07 on Jan. 16 vs. NY Islanders; 15:10 on Jan. 19 vs. New Jersey; 21:17 on Jan. 22 at Pittsburgh; 21:39 on Jan. 24 at Pittsburgh). He ranks sixth among NHL rookies in average ice time (17:14) and ranks fourth among NHL rookies in average even strength ice time (16:57) in 2020-21, and he is also tied for third among NHL rookies in plus/minus rating (plus-four) this season.

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