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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets 01.19.20

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

RANGERS vs. BLUE JACKETS, 7 pm
Madison Square Garden
MSG Network, 98.7 FM

GAME DAY
The Rangers play their 47th game of the 2019-20 season and the first of three consecutive home games tonight, January 19, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden. Including tonight's game, New York will play seven of its next eight games at MSG. The Rangers also continue a stretch of four consecutive games against teams in the Metropolitan Division tonight (three against the Islanders and one against Columbus). The Blueshirts have earned a win in each of the last two games and in four of the last five games (4-1-0 record). 

RANGERS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • All-Time: 19-15-1-3 (8-5-1-3 at home; 11-10-0-0 on the road) 
  • 2019-20: Tonight's game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), following their 3-2 win on Dec. 5 at Columbus. Alexandar Georgiev made 45 saves to earn the win, and Brendan Lemieux, Jacob Trouba, and Artemi Panarin each registered a goal. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Blue Jackets will face each other on the following dates: Feb. 14 (at Columbus), Mar. 24 (at MSG). 
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in 14 of their last 21 games against the Blue Jackets (12-7-2 record). 
  • Four of the last five games between the Blueshirts and Blue Jackets have been decided by one goal, and three of those games have been decided in either overtime or a shootout.  

RANGERS-BLUE JACKETS CONNECTIONS

  • John Davidson served as the Blue Jackets' President of Hockey Operations for seven seasons (2012-13 - 2018-19). 
  • Artemi Panarin played two seasons with the Blue Jackets (2017-18 and 2018-19). 
  • Brandon Dubinsky played parts of six seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 - 2011-12). 
  • John Tortorella served as Rangers Head Coach for parts of six seasons (1999-00; 2008-09 - 2012-13). Four players on the Rangers' current roster were coached by Tortorella during his tenure in New York: Henrik Lundqvist (2008-09 - 2012-13), Marc Staal (2008-09 - 2012-13), Chris Kreider (2011-12 - 2012-13), and Micheal Haley (2012-13). 
  • Adam Clendening played one season with the Rangers (2016-17). 
  • Nathan Gerbe was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2016.   

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • Chris Kreider - 26 GP, 10-5-15 - Kreider is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against the Blue Jackets. He has tallied a goal/point in five of the last six games (six goals) and in six of the last eight games (seven goals) against the Blue Jackets. 
  • Artemi Panarin - 5 GP, 5-3-8 - Panarin has posted a multi-point game in three of five career contests against the Blue Jackets. 
  • Mika Zibanejad - 23 GP, 4-12-16 - Zibanejad has notched 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his last 16 games against Columbus. 
  • Jacob Trouba - 13 GP, 3-6-9 - Trouba has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in his last seven games against Columbus.  

TOP OF THE HEAP
The Rangers have earned at least one win against seven of the current top 10 teams in the NHL standings this season (Note - the Rangers have not played one of the current top 10 teams (Dallas) yet in 2019-20).
 
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers enter the contest with a five-game home winning streak and have outscored their opponents, 27-12, over the five contests. The Blueshirts have recorded five or more goals in all five home games over the span and have tallied five or more goals in five consecutive home games for the first time since Oct. 26, 2016 vs. Boston to Nov. 6, 2016 vs. Winnipeg.
 
TAKING THE METRO
Including tonight's game, 15 of the Rangers' final 36 regular-season games in 2019-20 are against teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have earned a win in 10 of their last 11 games against Metropolitan Division opponents (10-1-0 record) and have posted a 10-3-0 record against teams in the Metropolitan Division this season. The Blueshirts have earned more wins in intra-division games this season than any other Metropolitan Division team. The Rangers have also won all six games against Metropolitan Division opponents at MSG this season and have outscored their opponents, 27-13, in the six games.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Rangers are the only team that currently has a player ranked sixth or higher in the NHL in points (Artemi Panarin - tied for third with 68) and a defenseman ranked sixth or higher among NHL defensemen in points (Tony DeAngelo - sixth with 37) this season. The last time the Blueshirts finished a season with a player ranked sixth or higher in the NHL in points, as well as a defenseman ranked sixth or higher among NHL defensemen in points, was 1996-97 (Wayne Gretzky and Brian Leetch).

GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have registered at least three goals in eight of the last 10 games, as well as five or more goals in three of the last five games, in six of the last 10 games, and in seven of the last 12 games. The Blueshirts have tallied 47 goals over the last 12 games (since Dec. 22), which is the third-most in the NHL over the span. The Rangers rank sixth in the NHL in goals per game this season (3.37). In addition, the Blueshirts have posted an 11.3% shooting percentage in 2019-20, which is the best in the NHL. 

YOUTH SERVED
The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has had eight players 21 years old or younger appear in at least one game in 2019-20 and are one of three NHL teams that have had two goaltenders 24 years old or younger appear in at least one game this season. 

ON POINT

Rangers defensemen have tallied 131 points (37 goals, 94 assists) in 2019-20. Blueshirts defensemen have recorded more goals and more points than defensemen from any other team this season. 

STATE OF THE ART-EMI
Artemi Panarin was selected to represent the Rangers at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. He leads the NHL in several categories this season, including even strength points (52; MacKinnon ranks second with 44), even strength assists (32), 5-on-5 points (45), and 5-on5 assists (29). In addition, Panarin is tied for third in the NHL in points in 2019-20 (68); he only trails McDavid (74) and Draisaitl (73), and he is tied with MacKinnon and Pastrnak in points this season. He enters the contest with a five-game assist/point streak (four goals, nine assists), and he has registered 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) over the last 10 games. 

FROM RUSSIA WITH GLOVE
Igor Shesterkin has earned a win in each of his first two NHL appearances, and he made 46 saves on Jan. 9 vs. New Jersey. According to NHL Stats and Information, Shesterkin is only the seventh goaltender in franchise history who has earned a win in each of his first two NHL appearances (Lorne Chabot, Jim Henry, Marcel Paille, John Vanbiesbrouck, Dan Cloutier, and Mackenzie Skapski).

STROME SURGE
Ryan Strome is tied for 19th in the NHL in assists (30) and is tied for eighth in the NHL in primary assists (23) in 2019-20. Strome is tied for eighth among NHL centers in assists, ranks fourth among NHL centers in primary assists (trailing only McDavid, Draisaitl, and MacKinnon), and is tied for 13th among NHL centers in points (42) this season.

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