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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Islanders 9.18.17

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 48-28-6 (102 pts)*
Islanders: 41-29-12 (94 pts)*
 
* Records are from the 2016-17 regular season

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their first game of the 2017 preseason tonight, Sept. 18, against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. - TV: MSG Network). Tonight's game is the first of six preseason contests for the Blueshirts, as the team will play two preseason games each against the Islanders, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Entering tonight's contest, the Rangers have won 12 of their last 14 preseason games at MSG (12-2-0 record), dating back to Sept. 21, 2009.

RANGERS PROJECTED LINEUP
The following players are expected to play in tomorrow's game against the Islanders:
 
GOALTENDERS
31 Ondrej Pavelec
75 Brandon Halverson
 
SKATERS
10 J.T. Miller
23 Bobby Farnham
24 Cristoval Nieves
25 Andrew Desjardins
27 Ryan McDonagh
28 Paul Carey
29 Cole Schneider
40 Michael Grabner
44 Neal Pionk
47 Steven Kampfer
50 Lias Andersson
54 Gabriel Fontaine
55 Nick Holden
61 Rick Nash
63 Ryan Graves
77 Tony DeAngelo
89 Pavel Buchnevich
95 Vinni Lettieri
 
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).
 
STAYING DISCIPLINED
The Rangers recorded the third-fewest penalty minutes in the NHL (593) and were tied for fifth in the league in fewest times shorthanded (223) in 2016-17. The Blueshirts have ranked 10th in the NHL or better in fewest penalty minutes recorded and fewest times shorthanded in every season since 2013-14.
 
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).
 
FULL HOUSE
Entering the 2017-18 season, the Rangers have an active sellout streak of 273 games (226 regular season games, 47 playoff games), dating back to November 3, 2011.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh was one of six NHL defensemen who registered at least 40 points and posted a plus-20 rating or better during the 2016-17 season (along with Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Justin Schultz, and Jake Gardiner). McDonagh was selected as the Rangers' Most Valuable Player in 2016-17, marking the second time he has received the award in his career (he was also named the team's MVP in 2013-14). McDonagh is one of three defensemen in franchise history who have been named the Rangers' MVP in at least two different seasons since the award was first presented in 1941-42 (Brian Leetch - six times; Barry Beck - twice). McDonagh has represented the Rangers at the NHL All-Star Game in each of the last two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17). He became the first Ranger to play in at least two consecutive NHL All-Star Games since Henrik Lundqvist (three straight from 2009 - 2012), as well as the first Rangers defenseman to accomplish the feat since Brian Leetch (2001 and 2002).
 
McDonagh is the only Ranger in franchise history who posted a plus-11 rating or better in each of his first seven NHL seasons. McDonagh leads the NHL in plus/minus rating since the start of the 2014-15 season (plus-69), and he has posted a plus-20 rating or better in each season over the span.
 
RICK ROLLING
Rick Nash is one of only two NHL players who have registered 20 or more goals in 12 different seasons since 2003-04 (along with Alex Ovechkin). Entering the 2017-18 season, Nash is 11 games away from skating in his 1,000th career NHL game. Since he joined the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash leads the team in goals (127), game-winning goals (27), and shots on goal (1,116), and he is tied for 12th in the NHL (min. 100 games played) in goals per game (0.40) over the span.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has either eclipsed or matched his goals, assists, and points, and plus/minus totals from the previous season throughout each of his first five NHL seasons (2012-13 - 2016-17). Miller established career-highs in several categories during the 2016-17 season, including assists (34), points (56), game-winning goals (six), plus/minus rating (plus-17), shorthanded goals (three), and shorthanded points (four). In addition, Miller tied his career-highs in games played (82) and goals (22) last season. Miller is the only Ranger who has played in all of the team's 82 regular season games in each of the last two seasons.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner was one of three NHL players who registered at least 27 goals and posted a plus-22 rating or better during the 2016-17 season (along with Connor McDavid and T.J. Oshie). Grabner led the Rangers - and tied for ninth in the NHL - in even strength goals in 2016-17 (26). He became the fourth player over the last 20 seasons (since 1996-97) to tally at least 25 even strength goals in one season with the Rangers (Jaromir Jagr - 30 in 2005-06; Marian Gaborik - 27 in 2009-10 and 31 in 2011-12; Rick Nash - 32 in 2014-15). In 2016-17, Grabner became the third NHL player in the last 25 seasons (since 1991-92) to register at least 27 goals in a season without tallying at least one power play goal (Mike Donnelly - 1991-92; Alexandre Burrows - 2008-09).
 
Grabner led Rangers forwards in shorthanded ice time during the 2016-17 season (128:24), and he was on the ice for only eight power play goals against. Grabner was on the ice for the fewest amount of power play goals against among NHL forwards who logged at least 128 minutes of ice time while shorthanded last season.
 
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.
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