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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Devils 9.20.17

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
Devils: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
  
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their second game of the 2017 preseason tonight, Sept. 20, against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. - TV: MSG Network). Tonight's game is the second of six preseason contests for the Blueshirts, as the team plays two preseason games each against the Islanders, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Entering tonight's contest, the Rangers have won 13 of their last 15 preseason games at MSG (13-2-0 record), dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.

RANGERS PROJECTED LINEUP
The following players are expected to play in tomorrow's game against the Devils:
 
GOALTENDERS
30 Henrik Lundqvist
90 Alexandar Georgiev
 
SKATERS
12 Matt Puempel
13 Kevin Hayes
18 Marc Staal
20 Chris Kreider
22 Kevin Shattenkirk
25 Andrew Desjardins
26 Jimmy Vesey
36 Mats Zuccarello
42 Brendan Smith
43 Daniel Catenacci
50 Lias Andersson
51 David Desharnais
58 John Gilmour
72 Filip Chytil
74 Vince Pedrie
76 Brady Skjei
78 Ryan Gropp
82 Adam Tambellini

2017 PRESEASON GAME RECAPS
Sept. 18, Rangers 1 vs. Islanders 0 (OT) - After neither team tallied a goal in regulation, Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk recorded the game-winning goal at 2:31 of overtime to give the Rangers the win in their first game of the preseason. The Rangers outshot the Islanders, 42-17, in the contest, and 17 of the Blueshirts' 18 skaters had at least one shot on goal. New York was 7-for-7 on the penalty kill in the contest, and the Rangers only allowed six shots on goal while shorthanded.
 
WINNING WAYS
The Rangers rank second in the National Hockey League in wins since the start of the 2014-15 season.
 
MOST WINS IN THE NHL SINCE 2014-15

1. Washington Capitals

156 (156-63-27 record)

2. New York Rangers

147 (147-77-22 record)

3. St. Louis Blues

146 (146-77-23 record)

4. Chicago Blackhawks

145 (145-77-24 record)

5. Anaheim Ducks

143 (143-72-31 record)


The Rangers' 147 wins over the last three seasons are the most earned in any three-season span in franchise history. The most wins the Blueshirts had previously earned in a three-season span was 144, which was accomplished twice (1970-71 - 1972-73 and 2013-14 - 2015-16).
 
POINT TAKEN
The Blueshirts posted a 48-28-6 record and earned 102 points during the 2016-17 season. After earning a single-season franchise record 113 points in 2014-15 and registering 101 points during the 2015-16 season, the Rangers recorded 100 or more points in three consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history (also accomplished the feat from 1970-71 - 1972-73). New York registered at least 100 points in a season for the 10th time in franchise history in 2016-17. The Rangers have earned at least 100 points in four of the last six seasons (2011-12; 2014-15 - 2016-17) and in five different seasons since 2005-06. The Blueshirts are one of four NHL teams that have recorded at least 100 points in each of the last three seasons (along with Anaheim, Chicago, and Washington).
 
PLAYOFF BOUND
The Blueshirts have advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the last seven seasons (since 2010-11) and in 11 of the last 12 seasons (since 2005-06). The Rangers are one of three NHL teams that have made the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, along with Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Rangers are one of four NHL teams that have reached the playoffs 11 times in the last 12 seasons, along with Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention prior to the start of a regular season game over the 12-year span.
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers ranked fourth in the NHL in goals for (253) and goals per game (3.09) in 2016-17. New York recorded at least 253 goals in regulation/overtime and averaged 3.09 or more goals per game in a season for the first time since 1996-97 (258 goals for and 3.15 goals per game).
 
20/20 VISION
Four different Rangers recorded at least 20 goals during the 2016-17 season. The Rangers are one of six NHL teams that have had at least four players register 20 or more goals in both 2015-16 and 2016-17 (along with Chicago, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Washington). Seven different players have tallied at least 20 goals as a member of the Blueshirts over the last two seasons (Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller are the only Rangers who recorded at least 20 goals in both 2015-16 and 2016-17).
 
ALL-AMERICAN

In 2016-17, five American-born players tallied at least 10 goals in one season with the Rangers for the first time in franchise history.
 
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Three Rangers rookies tallied at least 20 points in 2016-17 (Brady Skjei, Jimmy Vesey, and Pavel Buchnevich). Prior to last season, the last time the Blueshirts had three rookies who recorded 20 or more points in the same season was 1999-00 (Mike York, Jan Hlavac, and Kim Johnsson).
 
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Rangers lead the NHL in goals against per game since the start of the 2005-06 season (2.45).
 
NHL GOALS AGAINST PER GAME LEADERS
SINCE 2005-06

1. New York Rangers

2.45

2. San Jose Sharks

2.50

3. New Jersey Devils

2.51

4. Minnesota Wild

2.55

5. Boston Bruins

2.57

The Blueshirts have ranked fifth or better in the NHL in goals against per game in seven of the last 12 seasons (since 2005-06), including five of the last seven seasons (since 2010-11). The Rangers are the only NHL team that has ranked fifth or better seven times since 2005-06, as well as the only NHL team that has ranked fifth or better five times since 2010-11.
 
HIGH FIVE
Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Rangers lead the NHL in shooting percentage (8.9) and are tied for third in the NHL in save percentage (.929) at 5-on-5.
 
NHL LEADERS AT 5-ON-5 SINCE THE START OF THE 2014-15 SEASON

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE

SAVE PERCENTAGE

1. New York Rangers

8.9

1. Chicago Blackhawks

.932

T-2. Washington Capitals

8.5

2. Washington Capitals

.930

T-2. Minnesota Wild

8.5

T-3. New York Rangers

.929

4. New York Islanders

8.3

T-3. Montreal Canadiens

.929

T-5. Calgary Flames

8.2

T-3. Ottawa Senators

.929

T-5. Tampa Bay Lightning

8.2

6. New Jersey Devils

.928

The Blueshirts also lead the NHL in shooting plus save percentage (1019) and goals for (510) at 5-on-5 over the span. The Rangers led the NHL in both categories during the 2015-16 season (9.0 shooting percentage and .934 save percentage).
 
FINISHING THE JOB
Since the start of the 2010-11 season, the Rangers have posted a 194-7-8 record in 209 regular season games in which they have held a lead entering the third period. New York's .928 winning percentage when leading entering the third period over the span ranks first in the NHL.
 
BEST NHL RECORDS WHEN LEADING ENTERING THE THIRD PERIOD SINCE 2010-11
(sorted by winning percentage)

1. New York Rangers

.928 (194-7-8)

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

.920 (220-10-9)

3. Washington Capitals

.917 (210-6-13)

4. Anaheim Ducks

.891 (205-6-19)

ON POINT
Three Rangers defensemen registered at least 30 points in 2016-17 (Ryan McDonagh, Brady Skjei, and Nick Holden). The Blueshirts were one of six NHL teams that had three defensemen who tallied at least 30 points last season (along with Calgary, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, and Washington). Three Rangers defensemen registered at least 30 points in the same season for the first time since 1996-97 (Brian Leetch, Alexander Karpovtsev, and Bruce Driver). McDonagh and Skjei each tallied 39 or more points in 2016-17 (McDonagh - 42; Skjei - 39). Prior to last season, the last season in which two Blueshirts defensemen each recorded 39 or more points was 1993-94 (Leetch and Sergei Zubov).
 
PLAYOFF PERFORMERS
Since 2011-12, the Blueshirts lead the NHL in playoff games played (93) and rank third in the NHL in playoff wins (46).
 
NHL PLAYOFF LEADERS SINCE 2011-12

GAMES PLAYED

WINS

1. New York Rangers

93

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

50

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

88

2. Chicago Blackhawks

48

3. Chicago Blackhawks

82

3. New York Rangers

46

The Rangers are the only NHL team that has won at least one playoff series in five different years over the last six years (2012 - 2015; 2017), and the Blueshirts have won nine playoff series during the stretch.
 
Prior to the current six-year stretch (2011-12 - 2016-17), the only time in franchise history when the Blueshirts earned at least one playoff series win in a best-of-seven series in five years over a six-year span was from 1991-92 - 1996-97 (1992; 1994 - 1997).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist enters the 2017-18 season as the Rangers' all-time leader in several categories, including wins (405), appearances by a goaltender (742), and shutouts (61). Lundqvist earned more wins and appeared in more games through the first 12 seasons of an NHL career than any other goaltender in league history. Lundqvist ranks 10th on the NHL's all-time wins list, and he holds the NHL record for wins by a European-born goaltender. Lundqvist is also one of three goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 30 wins in 11 or more seasons (along with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy).
 
SHATT STATS
Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Kevin Shattenkirk ranks second among NHL defensemen in power play points (131), and he ranks third among NHL defensemen in power play goals (32) and power play assists (99). Shattenkirk is the only defenseman who ranks third or higher in all three categories over the span. Shattenkirk is one of 14 defensemen in NHL history who have registered 30 or more assists and 40 or more points in at least six of his first seven seasons in the league. In addition, since Shattenkirk entered the NHL in 2010-11, he is one of four NHL defensemen who have tallied at least 30 assists and at least 40 points in six different seasons (along with Erik Karlsson, Duncan Keith, and Keith Yandle). Among active defensemen in the NHL, Shattenkirk ranks fifth in career points per game (0.61), trailing only Karlsson (0.82), John Klingberg (0.67), Kris Letang (0.64), and P.K. Subban (0.64).
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei was selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2016-17, becoming the third defenseman in Rangers history to be selected to the league's All-Rookie Team (Brian Leetch - 1988-89; Michael Del Zotto - 2009-10). Skjei led all NHL rookies with 27 even strength assists in 2016-17. He became the first NHL rookie defenseman to register at least 27 even strength assists in his rookie season since Larry Murphy in 1980-81. Skjei tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in even strength assists last season - he only trailed Duncan Keith, Erik Karlsson, and Brent Burns, and was tied with Victor Hedman.
 
During the 2016-17 season, Skjei became the first Rangers defenseman and/or the first Rangers rookie defenseman to accomplish several feats since Brian Leetch, such as:

  • the first Rangers defenseman to tally at least 30 assists in his rookie season
  • the first Rangers defenseman to record at least 39 points in his rookie season
  • the first Rangers defenseman to register at least 20 even strength assists in his rookie season
  • the first Rangers rookie defenseman to post a six-game assist/point streak
  • the first Rangers defenseman to either lead the team or tie for the team lead in goals in one playoff year
  • the first Rangers defenseman to tally at least two goals in one playoff game
  • the first Rangers rookie defenseman to register at least two goals in one playoff year 

WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello established career-highs in several categories during the 2016-17 season, including assists (44), even strength assists (35), even strength points (45), takeaways (70), and shots on goal (189). Zuccarello led the Rangers in assists, points (59), even strength assists, takeaways, and shootout goals (four), and tied for the team lead in even strength points in 2016-17. Zuccarello has led the team in points in each of the last two seasons, as well as in three of the last four seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, and 2016-17). He is the first Ranger who has led the team in points in back-to-back seasons since Jaromir Jagr. Over the last 25 seasons (since 1991-92), Zuccarello is one of only four Rangers who have led the team in points in at least two straight seasons. The other three are Mark Messier (1991-92 - 1992-93; 1994-95 - 1995-96), Wayne Gretzky (1996-97 - 1998-99), and Jaromir Jagr (2005-06 - 2007-08).
 
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes established career-highs in several categories during the 2016-17 season, including assists (32), points (49), average ice time (16:33), game-winning goals (four), power play assists (six), shorthanded assists (six), power play points (seven), shorthanded points (seven), and shots on goal (143), and tied his career-high in goals (17). Hayes led the NHL in shorthanded assists (six) and tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded points (seven) last season. He became the first Ranger to lead the NHL outright in shorthanded assists - as well as tally six shorthanded assists in one season - since Mark Messier in 1996-97. Dating back to the 1987-88 season, Hayes and Messier are the only Rangers who have registered at least six shorthanded assists in one season. Hayes registered six power play assists and six shorthanded assists in 2016-17, becoming the first NHL forward to record six or more power play assists and shorthanded assists in the same season since Shane Doan in 2007-08. Since 1991-92, Hayes is one of only seven NHL forwards who have tallied at least six power play assists and six shorthanded assists in the same season (along with Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Sergei Fedorov, Martin St. Louis, and Doan).
 
RANGERS 2017 OFF-SEASON ACTIVITY:

  • September 5 - Named Brian Leetch and Brad Richards Hockey Operations Advisors
  • August 1 - Named Joe Mormina Assistant Coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack
  • July 25 - Re-signed Mika Zibanejad
  • July 19 - Signed Alexandar Georgiev as a free agent.
  • July 14 - Signed Filip Chytil to his first NHL contract.
  • July 13 - Signed Lias Andersson to his first NHL contract.
  • July 10 - Named Lindy Ruff Assistant Coach.
  • July 7 - Kevin Klein announced his retirement.
  • July 5 - Signed David Desharnais as a free agent; re-signed Jesper Fast.
  • July 1 - Signed Kevin Shattenkirk, Ondrej Pavelec, Paul Carey, and Cole Schneider as free agents.
  • June 29 - Re-signed Brendan Smith.
  • June 24 - Acquired a fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Brandon Crawley) and a sixth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Morgan Barron) from San Jose in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Scott Reedy).
  • June 23 - Acquired Tony DeAngelo and a first round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (Lias Andersson) from Arizona in exchange for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta.
  • June 21 - Oscar Lindberg claimed by Vegas in NHL Expansion Draft.
  • June 15 - Bought out Dan Girardi.
  • June 14 - Re-signed Matt Puempel; Named Jed Ortmeyer Director of Player Development, Steve Eminger a Professional Scout, and Ben Prentiss Strength and Conditioning Consultant.
  • June 12 - Named Keith McCambridge Head Coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
  • May 16 - Relieved Ken Gernander of head coaching duties with Hartford Wolf Pack; Named Chris Drury General Manager of Hartford Wolf Pack. 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:

  • September 19 - Assigned Robin Kovacs and Adam Chapie to Hartford (AHL); Released Brenden Kotyk from his Professional Tryout (PTO); Assigned Tim Gettinger and Ty Ronning to their respective junior teams
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