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Pregame Notes: Rangers at St. Louis

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at ST. LOUIS BLUES

  • Thursday, Oct. 9, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO
  • Rangers: 45-31-6 (96 pts)*
  • Blues: 52-23-7 (111 pts)*
  • * Team records are from the 2013-14 regular season

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers will open up the 2014-15 regular season against the St. Louis Blues tonight, Oct. 9, at Scottrade Center (8:00 p.m. ET —TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight is the first contest of a two-game road trip for the Blueshirts before they play their home opener on Sunday, Oct. 12, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers posted a 45-31-6 record last season (20-17-4 at home, 25-14-2 on the road), finishing second in the Metropolitan Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. New York defeated Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Montreal in the playoffs to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. St. Louis posted a 52-23-7 record last season (28-9-4 at home, 24-14-3 on the road), finishing second in the Central Division and third in the Western Conference. The Blues were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division Semifinals.

RANGERS VS. BLUES

  • All-Time: 75-42-16-0 overall (45-13-6-0 at home; 30-29-10-0 on the road)
  • Last Season: The Rangers were 0-2-0 overall (0-1-0 at home, 0-1-0 on the road). New York was 2-for-8 on the power play (25%) in the two contests. Derek Stepan led all Rangers with three assists and three points, while Derick Brassard registered two assists against the Blues. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2.32 GAA and a .929 SV% in two appearances.
  • The Rangers and Blues have been separated by two goals or fewer in 11 of the last 13 contests against each other, dating back to November 3, 2002
  • New York lists one former Blue on its roster: Lee Stempniak (2005-06 - 2008-09)
  • St. Louis lists no former Rangers on its roster

INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS VS. BLUES

UPCOMING MILESTONES

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Power Play: The Rangers ranked 15th in the NHL on the power play last season (48-for-264; 18.2%), and were seventh in the NHL on the road (28-for-132; 21.2%). New York was tied for 13th in the NHL on the power play during the preseason (3-for-20; 15.0%).
  • Penalty Kill: The Blueshirts ranked third in the NHL on the penalty kill (198-for-232; 85.3%), and were also third in the NHL on the road (109-for-127; 85.8%). New York was also tied for third in shorthanded goals (10) in 2013-14. The Rangers were 13th in the NHL on the penalty kill during the preseason (20-for-23; 87.0%).

2014 PRESEASON IN REVIEW
The Rangers posted a 3-3-0 record in six preseason contests this year. Of the 35 skaters who played at least one preseason game for the Blueshirts, 26 tallied a point, and 13 players registered at least two points. New York won more faceoffs than its opponent in each of the last five preseason contests, posting a 59.3% faceoff win percentage (156-for-263) over the span.

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 (358), is tied for first in games coached (622), and ranks seventh among all coaches (minimum 100 games coached) in win percentage (.626) over the last eight seasons.

CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh
was named the 27th captain in Rangers history on Monday. McDonagh, who was named Team MVP and received the Players' Player Award for being the Rangers who best exemplifies what it means to be a team player 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 entering his 10th season with the Rangers. Lundqvist is the 37th player in franchise history to play in parts of 10 seasons with the team. He is also the fifth goaltender to play at least 10 years with the Blueshirts, joining Mike Richter, Ed Giacomin, John Vanbiesbrouck, and Gump Worsley. If Lundqvist starts against St. Louis, the Rangers' all-time wins and shutouts leader would become 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 (574), wins (309), 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 who has won at least 24 road games in three of the last four seasons, and they rank third in the NHL in road victories (83) since the start of the 2010-11 season.

RICK ROLLING
Rick Nash
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. Last season, the five-time NHL All-Star tied the Rangers' franchise record for game-winning goals in one season with nine.

SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
Martin St. Louis
leads all NHL players in points (396) and ranks third among NHL players in assists (264) since the start of the 2009-10 season. He is one of three players who have won the Art Ross Trophy twice since the 2003-04 season (2003-04, 2012-13), along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. St. Louis, who was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy last season and is a three-time recipient of the award, 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 was named one of the Rangers' four alternate captains for the 2014-15 season on Monday.

SHORTHANDED SPECIALIST
Lee Stempniak
leads the NHL in shorthanded assists (seven) and shorthanded points (nine) since the start of the 2012-13 season. Last season, he tied for fourth in the NHL in shorthanded assists (three) and shorthanded points (five).

APPROACHING 1,000
Entering the 2014-15 season, 996 players have skated in at least one regular season or playoff game with the Rangers over the team's 89-year history. Players on the Rangers active roster who have yet to make their Ranger debuts are: Dan Boyle, Anthony Duclair, Tanner Glass, Kevin Hayes, Matt Hunwick, Ryan Malone, and Lee Stempniak.

NUMBERS GAME

DUC OF NEW YORK
Anthony Duclair
was named the winner of the 2014 Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award as the top Rangers rookie in Training Camp. The 19-year-old led the team in points (five), tied for the team lead in goals (three) and game-winning goals (one), ranked second in shots on goal (10), and tied for third in assists (two) and plus/minus rating (plus-two) during the preseason. Duclair is the first teenager to make the Rangers roster out of training camp since Michael Del Zotto in 2009-10.

“It’s pretty special. I’m looking at the names engraved on this trophy like Tony Amonte and Mike Richter, and with all of the history with this team, I’m pretty humbled to share this award with them.” – Duclair on being named the winner of the 2014 Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award

INJURIES:

  • Derek Stepan (non-displaced fractured fibula) - placed on long-term injured reserve
  • Kevin Hayes (shoulder) - day-to-day

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

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