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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Canadiens 10.8.17

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 0-2-0 (0 pts)
Canadiens: 1-1-0 (2 pts)
 
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their third game of the 2017-18 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Oct. 8, against the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG+; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight's game is the beginning of a stretch in which the Rangers will play eight of their next nine games, as well as nine of their next 11 games, at MSG.

RANGERS VS. CANADIENS

  • All-Time: 194-330-94-5 (128-127-54-2 at home; 66-203-40-3 on the road)
  • 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Canadiens will play against each other on the following dates: Oct. 28 (at Montreal), Feb. 22 (at Montreal).
  • 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 0-2-1 record (0-1-1 at home; 0-1-0 on the road). Rick Nash tied for first among all skaters with two goals in the season series, while Kevin Hayes, Ryan McDonagh, and Mats Zuccarello tied for the team lead with two assists in three contests.
  • 2017 Playoffs: The Rangers defeated Montreal, four games to two, in the First Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 4-2 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .947 SV%, and 1 SO in six appearances in the series, and his .947 SV% was tied for the best he has posted in any playoff series of his career. Mats Zuccarello led all skaters with three goals in the series, and he registered two goals in Game 6 to help close out the series at MSG. Mika Zibanejad led the Rangers with three assists and four points in the series, and he recorded the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 5 of the series in Montreal.
  • Eight of the last 14 meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens have resulted in a shutout for one of the two teams.

RANGERS-CANADIENS CONNECTIONS

  • David Desharnais played parts of eight seasons with the Canadiens (2009-10 - 2016-17) and is a native of Laurier-Station, Quebec. Desharnais has played one game against Montreal in his NHL career (March 12, 2017 in Edmonton as a member of the Oilers).
  • Ryan McDonagh was selected by Montreal in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers acquired McDonagh in a trade with the Canadiens on June 30, 2009.
  • Al Montoya was selected by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Alain Vigneault began his NHL head coaching career with the Canadiens in 1997-98. Vigneault served as Montreal's Head Coach for parts of four seasons (1997-98 - 2000-01).
  • Benoit Allaire served as Goaltending Coach with the Canadiens for one season (1996-97).
  • J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Alex Galchenyuk all helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • David Desharnais and Brandon Davidson were traded for each other as part of a trade between Montreal and Edmonton on February 28, 2017.
  • Michael Grabner, Al Montoya, and Mark Streit were all teammates with the Islanders for one season (2011-12).
  • Ondrej Pavelec and Al Montoya were teammates with Winnipeg for two seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14).
  • Rick Nash and Shea Weber helped Canada earn a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014. Nash, Weber, and Carey Price helped Canada win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2014.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk, Paul Carey, and Karl Alzner were all teammates with Washington for part of one season (2016-17). Carey and Alzner were teammates with the Capitals for parts of two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Ales Hemsky were teammates with Ottawa for part of one season (2013-14).
  • Tony DeAngelo and Jonathan Drouin were teammates with Syracuse of the American Hockey League (AHL) for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Steven Kampfer and Max Pacioretty were teammates at the University of Michigan for one season (2007-08) and helped the Wolverines win the CCHA Championship.
  • Max Pacioretty is a native of New Canaan, Connecticut, and he was a Rangers fan growing up.
  • Steven Kampfer and Jeff Petry are both natives of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Ondrej Pavelec, Ales Hemsky, and Tomas Plekanec all represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Pavelec and Plekanec are both natives of Kladno, Czech Republic.
  • Paul Byron's first head coach in the NHL was Lindy Ruff (2010-11 with Buffalo).
  • Ales Hemsky and Jordie Benn were coached by Lindy Ruff with the Stars for parts of three seasons (2014-15 - 2016-17). Benn was coached by Ruff with Dallas for parts of four seasons (2013-14 - 2016-17).
  • J.T. Miller and Jonathan Drouin were teammates with Team North America during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CANADIENS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 35 GP, 14-17-3, 2.87 GAA, .898 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last eight games against Montreal at MSG, dating back to Mar. 30, 2012. In addition, Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his 20 career appearances against the Canadiens at MSG.
  • Ondrej Pavelec - 17 GP, 6-9-1, 2.74 GAA, .908 SV%, 2 SO - In his last three appearances against Montreal, Pavelec has posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 1.92 GAA and a .942 SV% (81 saves on 86 shots).
  • Rick Nash - 19 GP, 7-4-11 - Nash has recorded a goal/point in two of his last three games against Montreal, as well as in three of his last five contests against the Canadiens.
  • Chris Kreider - 14 GP, 3-3-6 - Kreider has tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in his last four games against Montreal.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 17 GP, 1-5-6 - Zuccarello has notched an assist/point in three of his last four games against the Canadiens (three assists over the span).

RANGERS CONNECTIONS (IN ADDITION TO CURRENTLY PLAYING WITH THE BLUESHIRTS)

  • Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk have represented the United States together in several tournaments, including the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2011 IIHF World Championship, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championship. McDonagh, Shattenkirk, and Chris Kreider were all teammates with Team USA at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Brendan Smith were all selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh - 12th overall by Montreal; Shattenkirk - 14th overall by Colorado; Smith - 27th overall by Detroit).
  • Ryan McDonagh and Brendan Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for three seasons (2007-08 - 2009-10).
  • Paul Carey, Chris Kreider, and Kevin Hayes were all teammates at Boston College for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) and helped Boston College win the National Championship in 2011-12; Carey and Kreider were teammates for three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12) and helped Boston College win two National Championships (2009-10 and 2011-12).
  • Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey were friends growing up in Massachusetts.
  • J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Michael Grabner's first head coach in the NHL was Alain Vigneault (2009-10 with Vancouver).
  • Paul Carey and Nick Holden were teammates with Colorado for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Paul Carey and Kevin Shattenkirk were teammates with Washington for part of one season (2016-17).
  • Nick Holden and Rick Nash were teammates with Columbus for part of one season (2010-11).
  • Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch. 

BACK-TO-BACK
The Rangers conclude the first of their 11 back-to-back sets during the 2017-18 season in tomorrow's contest. New York's 11 back-to-back sets this season are tied for the fewest among Eastern Conference teams. The Blueshirts posted an 11-5-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set last season. In their last 98 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 64-28-6 record in the second game of the set.
 
BOUNCE BACK 
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 40-12-4 record in the game following a loss (either regulation loss or overtime/shootout loss). New York posted a 23-7-4 record in games following a loss during the 2016-17 season.
 
10-IN-10
The Rangers are playing 10 home games in October this season. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, New York has posted a 10-3-1 record at MSG in October.
 
WHAT A LINE
The Rangers' line of Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich has registered six points (three goals, three assists) through the first two games of the 2017-18 season. In addition, at least one of the three players has tallied a point on five of the Rangers' seven goals through the first two games this season.
 
SHOOTING GALLERY
New York has recorded at least 35 shots on goal in each of the first two games of the 2017-18 season (74 shots on goal; 37.0 shots on goal per game).
 
THREE'S COMPANY
Over the last three seasons (2014-15 - 2016-17), a Ranger has recorded a goal in each of the first three games of the season (Rick Nash - first four games of 2014-15; Oscar Lindberg - first three games of 2015-16; Chris Kreider - first three games of 2016-17). Mika Zibanejad has tallied a goal in each of the first two contests of the 2017-18 season. Nash is the only player in franchise history who has recorded at least one goal in each of the Rangers' first four games of a season.
 
UNITED NATIONS
New York's season-opening roster features at least one player from seven different countries: the United States of America (Carey, DeAngelo, Hayes, Kampfer, Kreider, McDonagh, Miller, Shattenkirk, Skjei, and Vesey), Canada (Desharnais, Holden, Nash, Smith, and Staal), Sweden (Fast, Lundqvist, and Zibanejad), Czech Republic (Chytil and Pavelec), Austria (Grabner), Norway (Zuccarello), and Russia (Buchnevich).
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (505). 
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello established a single-game career-high with four points (one goal, three assists) and tied a single-game career-high with three assists tonight at Toronto. Zuccarello, who was named an alternate captain on Oct. 4, has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) through the first two games of the 2017-18 season. He is the first Ranger who has registered five points in the first two games of a season since Bernie Nicholls in 1990-91, and he is also the first Ranger who has recorded four assists in the first two games of a season since Brian Leetch in 1990-91. 
 
MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad has recorded three goals/points, all of which were power play goals, through the first two games of the 2017-18 season. He tied single-game career-highs in power play goals (two), shots on goal (eight), and faceoff wins (18) in the Rangers' regular season opener on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. As of the conclusion of the Rangers' game tonight at Toronto, Zibanejad leads the NHL in power play goals (three) and is tied for second in the NHL in goals (three) thus far in 2017-18. He has recorded 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 58 games as a member of the Rangers (0.69 points per game with the Blueshirts).
  
SHATT STATS
Kevin Shattenkirk registered two points (one goal, one assist), including his 300th career NHL point, tonight at Toronto. He has registered three points (one goal, two assists), all on the power play, through two games in 2017-18. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Shattenkirk ranks second among NHL defensemen in power play points (134), and ranks third among NHL defensemen in power play goals (33) and power play assists (101); he is the only NHL defenseman who ranks third or higher in all three categories over the span. He established career-highs in assists (43), points (56), power play goals (eight), and power play points (27) last season, and he was one of four NHL defensemen who recorded at least 10 goals and 40 assists in 2016-17 (Burns, Hedman, and Karlsson).
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller tallied two points (one goal, one assist) tonight at Toronto. Entering tomorrow's contest, Miller has skated in each of the Rangers' last 199 regular season games, dating back to Feb. 7, 2015. He was the only Ranger who skated in all 82 regular season games last season. He established career-highs in assists (34) and points (56), and tied his career-high in goals (22) in 2016-17.
 
CHYTIL-MANIA
Filip Chytil made his NHL/Rangers debut on Oct. 5 vs. Colorado. By playing in the Rangers' regular season opener, Chytil, who was 18 years and 30 days old on Oct. 5, became ...
 

  • the fourth-youngest player to appear in a game with the Rangers in franchise history; the only players who were younger were Harry Lumley (17 years, 42 days on Dec. 23, 1943), Len Wharton (17 years, 81 days on Mar. 4, 1945), and Don Raleigh (17 years, 125 days on Oct. 30, 1943). *note is per the Elias Sports Bureau
  • the first 18-year-old to appear in a game with the Rangers since Dan Blackburn on Apr. 13, 2002 at Philadelphia.
  • the first 18-year-old skater (forward or defenseman) to play in a game with the Rangers since Manny Malhotra on Apr. 18, 1999 vs. Pittsburgh (the contest was Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game).

SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-3 (3:07) tonight at Toronto.
  • The Blueshirts have tallied four goals on nine power play opportunities in 2017-18 (44.4%).
  • New York has recorded four power play goals in its first two games of a season for the first time since 2000-01. 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-6 (9:10) tonight at Toronto.
  • New York tied for sixth in the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2016-17 (nine). 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Rick Nash - 9 games away from 1,000 in his NHL career

 
INJURIES (2 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Jesper Fast (offseason hip surgery)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Oct. 2 - Agreed to terms with Brandon Crawley on an entry-level contract 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Oct. 8, 1976 - Rod Gilbert tied a single-game franchise record with five assists as the Rangers defeated the Colorado Rockies, 5-3.
  • Oct. 8, 2005 - Henrik Lundqvist made his NHL debut.
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