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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets 04.05.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Friday, Apr. 5, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Rangers: 31-36-13 (75 pts)
Blue Jackets: 45-31-4 (94 pts)

The Rangers play their 81st game of the 2018-19 season and begin a back-to-back set on Friday, Apr. 5, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG+, Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). Friday's contest is the Rangers' final home game in 2018-19. New York concludes the season with a back-to-back set.

TOMORROW STARTS TODAY

Through seven trades made leading up to the NHL's Trade Deadline in both 2018 and 2019, the Rangers acquired 22 assets in exchange for eight players who were on the team's roster. Among the assets acquired were:

  • Four picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft (including two first-round picks)
  • Six picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft (including one first-round pick and two second-round picks which could become first-round picks)
  • Five players who were 22 years old or younger at the time they were acquired (Brett Howden, Brendan Lemieux, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, and Yegor Rykov)

The Rangers either have made, or will make, seven selections in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft over a three-year period from 2017 - 2019. Since the start of the NHL Entry Draft Era in 1979 (following the NHL-WHA merger), no NHL team has made more than seven first-round selections in a three-year span. In addition, for the first time in franchise history (since the inception of the NHL Amateur/Entry Draft in 1963), the Rangers have had multiple first-round picks in three consecutive years (two first-round selections in 2017, three first-round selections in 2018, and two first-round selections in 2019).

In 2018, the Rangers selected three players in the first round of the same NHL Amateur/Entry Draft for the first time in franchise history. The Blueshirts used their three first-round picks to select Vitali Kravtsov, K'Andre Miller, and Nils Lundkvist.

  • Kravtsov - led all KHL players younger than 20 years old in goals (eight), assists (13), and points (21) during the regular season in 2018-19; Kravtsov's 21 points are tied for the ninth-most by a KHL player younger than 20 years old in the league's history (tied with Artemi Panarin)
  • Miller - leads NCAA freshmen defensemen (min. 25 games played) in assists per game (0.65) and points per game (0.85) in 2018-19; named one of the finalists for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and was named an Honorable Mention for the All-Big Ten Hockey Team in 2018-19
  • Lundkvist - led SHL defensemen younger than 19 years old in assists (seven) and points (10) during the regular season in 2018-19; over the last 30 seasons (since 1989-90) in the SHL, Lundkvist is one of 14 defensemen younger than 19 years old who have who have tallied 10 or more points in a single season, and his 10 points are tied for the 10th-most by a defenseman younger than 19 years old in the league over the span

The Rangers made 10 selections overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, which was the most the team made in one year since the NHL adopted a seven-round Draft format beginning in 2005. The Blueshirts currently have 10 picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft (their own first-round pick, Winnipeg's first-round pick, their own second-round pick, either Dallas' second-round pick or first-round pick, either Tampa Bay's second-round pick or first-round pick, their own third-round pick, Columbus' fourth-round pick, their own fifth-round pick, their own sixth-round pick, and Columbus' seventh-round pick).

RANGERS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • All-Time: 18-15-1-2 (8-5-1-2 at home; 10-10-0-0 on the road)
  • 2018-19: Friday's game is the fourth of four meetings between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, and the second of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-1-1 record (0-0-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road), following the Blue Jackets' 7-5 win on Jan. 13 at Columbus. All three meetings have been decided by two or fewer goals, and two of the three contests were decided after regulation. Chris Kreider leads all skaters with four goals and is tied for first among all skaters with four points in the season series. Jimmy Vesey is also tied for first among all skaters with four points (three goals, one assist) in three games, and he tallied the game-deciding goal in the shootout in the Rangers' 5-4 win on Nov. 10 at Columbus. The Blueshirts are 7-for-8 (87.5%) on the penalty kill in the season series.
  • The Rangers have won 11 of their last 19 games against the Blue Jackets, dating back to Jan. 16, 2015 (11-7-1 record over the span).
  • Each of the last seven meetings between the Rangers and Blue Jackets, as well as 13 of the last 14 meetings and 17 of the last 19 meetings between the two teams, have been decided by two or fewer goals.
  • New York has not allowed a power play goal against Columbus in 18 of the last 24 meetings between the two teams (60-for-66; 90.9% on the penalty kill over the span).
  • Marc Staal is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played against the Blue Jackets (26), and Chris Kreider is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against Columbus (nine). Henrik Lundqvist is the Blueshirts' all-time leader in appearances (22) and wins (11) by a goaltender against Columbus.

 RANGERS-BLUE JACKETS CONNECTIONS

  • Brandon Dubinsky played parts of six seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 - 2011-12) and won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award during his rookie season in 2007-08.
  • Adam McQuaid played part of one season with the Rangers (2018-19) and was acquired by Columbus from the Blueshirts on Feb. 25, 2019.
  • Adam Clendening played one season with the Rangers (2016-17).
  • John Tortorella served as Rangers Head Coach for parts of six seasons (1999-00; 2008-09 - 2012-13). During his tenure with the Blueshirts, he was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Head Coach of the Year in 2011-12. Three players on the Rangers' current roster were coached by Tortorella during his tenure with the Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist (2008-09 - 2012-13), Marc Staal (2008-09 - 2012-13), and Chris Kreider (2011-12 - 2012-13).
  • Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers (1975-76 - 1982-83) and served as TV Analyst for 20 years on MSG Network (1986 - 2006).
  • Sam Rosen and John Davidson were broadcast partners for 20 years on MSG Network (1986 - 2006), and they each received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster (Rosen - 2016; Davidson - 2009). "Sam and JD" are one of only three local broadcast teams where both announcers have received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award; the other two are Dave Strader and Mickey Redmond (Detroit) and Bob Miller and Nick Nickson (Los Angeles).
  • Blue Jackets TV Analyst Jody Shelley played part of one season with the Rangers (2009-10).
  • Fredrik Claesson and Ryan Dzingel were teammates in the Senators organization for parts of five seasons (2013-14 - 2017-18). Mika Zibanejad and Dzingel were also teammates with Ottawa for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Nick Foligno were teammates with the Senators for part of one season (2011-12).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk and Matt Duchene were teammates with the Avalanche for part of one season (2010-11).
  • Pavel Buchnevich (75th overall) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (89th overall) were selected in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The pick the Rangers used to select Buchnevich was acquired from Columbus as part of the team's trade with the Blue Jackets to acquire Rick Nash on July 23, 2012.
  • Nick Foligno's Great-Uncle-in-Law is Rangers legend Ed Giacomin.
  • Cam Atkinson is a native of Riverside, Connecticut. Kevin Shattenkirk and Atkinson were friends and teammates while playing youth hockey.
  • Cam Atkinson attended Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut. Several former Rangers played high school hockey at Avon Old Farms, including Hall of Famer Brian Leetch.
  • Chris Kreider and Cam Atkinson were teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) and helped the school win the National Championship in 2009-10. In addition, Greg Brown was either the Assistant Coach or Associate Head Coach when Kreider and Atkinson attended the school (Brown coached Atkinson for three seasons from 2008-09 - 2010-11).
  • Chris Kreider, Neal Pionk, Cam Atkinson, and Keith Kinkaid helped the United States win a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. In addition, Jeff Gorton and Bill Zito were both involved with the player selection process for Team USA in the tournament.
  • Brett Howden and Pierre-Luc Dubois were both selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Howden and Dubois helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF U18 World Championship.
  • Jimmy Vesey and Seth Jones helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Vesey and Jones also helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov and Artemi Panarin helped Russia win a bronze medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Mika Zibanejad and Alexander Wennberg played in the Djurgardens organization in Sweden for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Sergei Bobrovsky have both won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's Best Goaltender (Lundqvist - 2011-12; Bobrovsky - 2012-13 and 2016-17).
  • Brady Skjei and Zach Werenski were the two defensemen who were selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2016-17.
  • Brady Skjei and Seth Jones helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World U18 Championship and a silver medal at the 2011 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Ryan Lindgren and Andrew Peeke helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Greg Brown was one of the team's Assistant Coaches in the tournament.
  • Chris Kreider, Brandon Dubinsky, and Nick Foligno represented the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
  • Brady Skjei and Nick Foligno represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and David Quinn was one of their Assistant Coaches.
  • Marc Staal and Matt Duchene represented Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
  • Boo Nieves and Zach Werenski were teammates at the University of Michigan for two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16).
  • Marc Staal, Adam McQuaid, and Nick Foligno were all teammates with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for three seasons (2004-05 - 2006-07).
  • Vladislav Namestnikov, Josh Anderson, and Scott Harrington were all teammates with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for one season (2011-12) and helped London win the OHL Championship.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk was coached by Brad Shaw (either as an Assistant Coach or Associate Coach) with the Blues for parts of six seasons (2010-11 - 2015-16).
  • David Quinn was Nick Foligno's Head Coach with the United States at the 2004 World U17 Hockey Challenge. Quinn was also one of Foligno's Assistant Coaches with the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • David Quinn was one of Matt Duchene's Assistant Coaches with the Avalanche during the 2012-13 season.
  • David Quinn was one of Cam Atkinson's Assistant Coaches with the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Tony DeAngelo and Zach Werenski represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Lindy Ruff was Matt Duchene's Head Coach with Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship and one of his Assistant Coaches for Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Brady Skjei and Ryan Murray were both selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Chris Kreider and Matt Duchene were both selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, and Riley Nash were all selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
  • John Tortorella was an Assistant Coach with the Sabres during Greg Brown's tenure as a player with the team (1990-91; 1992-93).
  • Chris Drury and Brad Larsen were teammates with the Avalanche for parts of two seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02).
  • Keith Kinkaid is a native of Farmingville, New York.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BLUE JACKETS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 22 GP, 11-8-2, 2.92 GAA, .907 SV% - Lundqvist has posted an 8-5-1 record in his last 15 appearances against Columbus (dating back to Mar. 21, 2014), and he has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of the 15 contests.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk - 29 GP, 5-16-21 - Over the course of his career, Shattenkirk has not gone two consecutive games against the Blue Jackets without recording a point. He has tallied a point in eight of his last 11 games against Columbus, registering 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over the span.
  • Chris Kreider - 24 GP, 9-5-14 - Kreider is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against the Blue Jackets. He enters the contest with a four-game goal/point streak against the Blue Jackets (five goals), and he has also recorded a goal/point in five of the last six games against Columbus (six goals over the span).
  • Mika Zibanejad - 21 GP, 4-9-13 - Zibanejad has registered 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 14 games against Columbus, including six points (two goals, four assists) in the last six contests against the Blue Jackets.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov - 14 GP, 1-6-7 - Namestnikov has registered an assist/point in five of his last seven games against Columbus (five assists).
  • Ryan Strome - 19 GP, 5-3-8 - Strome has notched eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last 17 games against Columbus.
  • Jimmy Vesey - 12 GP, 5-2-7 - Vesey enters the contest with a three-game goal/point streak against Columbus (three goals, one assist). In addition, he has registered a point in six of the last 10 games against the Blue Jackets (five goals, two assists).
  • Pavel Buchnevich - 9 GP, 2-3-5 - Buchnevich has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last six games against Columbus.
  • Brady Skjei - 12 GP, 0-4-4 - Skjei has notched an assist/point in two of the last four games against Columbus (two assists).
  • Tony DeAngelo - 3 GP, 0-2-2 - DeAngelo has notched an assist/point in two of his three career games against Columbus.

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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lias Andersson's uncle, Mikael Andersson, was teammates with Lindy Ruff as members of the Buffalo Sabres (1985-86 - 1988-89).
  • Lias Andersson's father, Niklas Andersson, was teammates with Henrik Lundqvist as members of Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for four seasons (2001-02 - 2004-05).
  • Lias Andersson and Mika Zibanejad helped Sweden earn a gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Filip Chytil and Libor Hajek represented the Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Brady Skjei and Vinni Lettieri were teammates at the University of Minnesota for two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15). Lettieri and Ryan Lindgren were teammates at the University of Minnesota for one season (2016-17).
  • Brady Skjei and Ryan Lindgren's older brother, Charlie (a goaltender in the Canadiens' organization), were grew up together in Lakeville, Minnesota and were teammates at Lakeville North High School.
  • Ryan Lindgren was coached by Greg Brown (Assistant Coach) with the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 2017 and 2018; Team USA earned a gold medal in 2017 and a bronze medal in 2018.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Rangers have earned at least one point in 17 of the last 27 home games and in 26 of 40 games at MSG this season.

YOUTH SERVED

The Rangers are currently the youngest team in the NHL (average age is 25.7 years old). All of the Rangers' last three goals have been scored by a rookie who is 21 years old or younger (Howden, Chytil, Andersson). At least one Ranger who is 23 years old or younger has tallied a goal in 12 of the last 14 games and in 14 of the last 17 games.

ON POINT

At least one Rangers defenseman has recorded a point in 27 of the team's last 29 games, including all 27 games which the team has registered a goal over the span. Rangers defensemen have tallied 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) in the last 29 games (note - does not include even strength points recorded by Brendan Smith, who has played as both a forward and a defenseman during the stretch).

CLOSE CALL

Forty of the Rangers' 80 games this season have been decided by one goal. The Blueshirts' 40 one-goal games are tied for the third-most in the NHL in 2018-19.

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist has earned 449 wins in his NHL career. Lundqvist ranks sixth on the NHL's all-time wins list, and his 449 career wins with the Rangers are the second-most a goaltender has earned with one franchise in NHL history.

ALEXANDAR THE GREAT

Alexandar Georgiev has earned a win in each of his last two appearances, and he has posted a 1.00 GAA, a .973 SV% (73 saves on 75 shots), and 1 SO in the two appearances. He has an active shutout streak of 104:58 (a career-high), dating back to Mar. 29 vs. St. Louis, and he has made 67 consecutive saves over the span. In 13 appearances at MSG this season, Georgiev has posted a 7-3-2 record, along with a 2.25 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 1 SO.

MIKA MAGIC

Mika Zibanejad was named the winner of the 2018-19 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, which is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, "goes above and beyond the call of duty." He leads the Rangers in goals (30), assists (42), and points (72) this season, and he has established career-highs in all three categories. Zibanejad is one of six NHL players who have registered 30 or more goals and have won 800 or more faceoffs this season (Barkov, Crosby, Larkin, Tavares, Toews).

STROME SURGE

Ryan Strome has recorded 17 goals since he was acquired by the Rangers on Nov. 16; his 17 goals with the Rangers are the most any NHL player acquired during the 2018-19 season has tallied with his new team.

DE-FENSE

Tony DeAngelo has notched an assist/point in 15 of his last 24 games (16 assists) and in 17 of his last 28 games (18 assists). DeAngelo's 18 assists since Feb. 4 are tied for the third-most among NHL defensemen. He is one of six Rangers defensemen 23 years old or younger who have tallied 30 or more points in a season over the last 30 seasons (Leetch, Zubov, Del Zotto, McDonagh, Skjei).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-2 (4:00) on Apr. 3 vs. Ottawa.
  • New York has tallied a power play goal in three of the last six games (4-for-15; 26.7%).

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 4-for-6 (9:19) and notched a shorthanded goal on Apr. 3 vs. Ottawa.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Neal Pionk - 1 game away from 100 in his NHL career/as a Ranger

INJURIES (184 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Libor Hajek (separated shoulder) - has missed 12 games
  • Jesper Fast (upper-body; out for season) - has missed eight games
  • Filip Chytil (upper-body) - has missed one game

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Apr. 4 - Recalled Ryan Lindgren from Hartford (AHL)
  • Mar. 30 - Agreed to terms with free agent forward Patrick Newell

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Apr. 4, 1993 - John Vanbiesbrouck became the third goaltender in franchise history to earn 200 wins as a Ranger, and the Blueshirts defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-0.
  • Apr. 4, 1994 - Mike Richter became the first goaltender in Rangers history to earn 40 wins in a season, as the Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-2, at MSG.
  • Apr. 5, 1970 - The Rangers established a single-game franchise record by registering 65 shots on goal and defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 9-5, at MSG.
  • Apr. 5, 1990 - Mike Richter earned his first career NHL playoff win as the Rangers defeated the Islanders, 2-1, in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semifinals at MSG. Richter stopped 28 of 29 shots he faced in the contest, including one on a penalty shot against the Islanders' Randy Wood.

REMEMBERING 1993-94

The Rangers were not shut out in any game during the 1993-94 season (regular season or playoffs). To date, the 1993-94 season is the last time the Blueshirts were not shut out in any game during the regular season.

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