NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WINNIPEG JETS
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
The Rangers play their first game of the 2019-20 season tonight, Oct. 3, against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers begin their 93rd NHL season tonight. The Blueshirts are starting the regular season at home for the fourth consecutive season and for the 28th time in franchise history. The Rangers will play seven of the first 10 games, and 11 of the first 16 games, of the 2019-20 season at MSG.
RANGERS VS. JETS
- All-Time*: 29-22-1-11 (11-13-1-7 at home; 18-9-0-4 on the road) *Note: All-Time Record includes games against the Atlanta Thrashers from 1999-00 - 2010-11
- 2019-20: Tonight's game is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Jets, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Jets will face each other on the following date: Feb. 11 (at Winnipeg).
- 2018-19: The Rangers posted a 0-1-1 record (0-0-1 at home; 0-1-0 on the road). Both contests were decided by one goal. Mika Zibanejad led the Rangers with two goals and four points in the season series.
- New York has earned at least one point in four of its last six games against Winnipeg, dating back to Nov. 6, 2016 (3-2-1 record).
- Jacob Trouba played six seasons with Winnipeg (2013-14 - 2018-19) and ranks second among Jets defensemen in games played (408), goals (42), assists (137), and points (179) since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011-12. Trouba was selected by the Jets in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and was acquired by the Rangers from Winnipeg on June 17, 2019.
- Brendan Lemieux played parts of two seasons with Winnipeg (2017-18 and 2018-19) and began his NHL career with the Jets. He was acquired by the Rangers from Winnipeg on Feb. 25, 2019.
- Neal Pionk played parts of two seasons with the Rangers (2017-18 and 2018-19) and signed with the Blueshirts as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2017. He was acquired by Winnipeg from the Rangers on June 17, 2019.
- Charlie Huddy served as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers for two seasons (1998-99 and 1999-00).
- Jim Ramsay was a member of the Training Staff for the original Winnipeg Jets for five seasons (1989-90 - 1993-94).
- Greg Brown played nine games with the original Winnipeg Jets during the 1994-95 season.
- Nikolaj Ehlers' father, Heinz Ehlers, was selected by the Rangers in the ninth round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
- Ville Heinola was selected by Winnipeg with the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers acquired the pick frommthe Jets on Feb. 25, 2019 as part of the trade in which the team acquired Brendan Lemieux, and traded the pick to Winnipeg on June 17, 2019 as part of the trade in which the team acquired Jacob Trouba.
- Brady Skjei, Jacob Trouba, and Andrew Copp were all teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) and helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship. Skjei and Copp also represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Jacob Trouba and Andrew Copp are both Michigan natives (Trouba - Rochester, MI; Copp - Ann Arbor, MI). They were teammates with Compuware Hockey in Michigan for three seasons (2007-08 - 2009-10) in addition to being teammates with the USNTDP, at the University of Michigan, and with the Jets.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. JETS
- Henrik Lundqvist - 34 GP, 14-11-8, 2.22 GAA, .922 SV%, 3 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in 23 of 34 career appearances against the Thrashers/Jets franchise. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, he has posted a 7-6-2 record, along with a 2.20 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 2 SO in 15 appearances against Winnipeg.
- Artemi Panarin - 14 GP, 6-10-16 - Panarin has recorded a point in nine of 14 career games against the Jets, and he has tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last five games against Winnipeg.
- Ryan Strome - 13 GP, 3-8-11 - Strome has tallied 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last 11 games against Winnipeg.
- Mika Zibanejad - 13 GP, 3-7-10 - Zibanejad has posted a multi-point game in each of the last two contests against the Jets (two goals, two assists). He has also registered a point in seven of his last 11 games against Winnipeg (three goals, seven assists).
START ME UP
The Rangers have posted a 38-38-14-2 record in their 92 home openers in franchise history and an 11-11-5-0 record in home openers which were also their regular season opener. New York has posted an 8-5-1 record in 14 season-opening games since 2005-06.
The average age of a player on the Rangers' season-opening roster is 26.2 years old. The Blueshirts enter the 2019-20 season with eight players who are 23 years old or younger, as well as five players who are 21 years old or younger. According to NHL Stats and Information, the Rangers are the only NHL team that has eight players who are 23 years old or younger and the only NHL team that has five players who are 21 years old or younger on their season-opening roster. Also according to NHL Stats and Information, the Rangers have had at least five players 21 years old or younger play in their season-opening game four times in franchise history (1942-43, 1953-54, 1976-77, 1977-78).
HOW THE RANGERS WERE BUILT
- Draft (8): Andersson, Buchnevich, Fast, Kakko, Kreider, Lundqvist, Skjei, Staal
- Free Agency (4): Georgiev*, Haley, McKegg, Panarin
- Trade (10): DeAngelo, Fox*, Hajek*, Howden*, Lemieux, Namestnikov, Smith, Strome, Trouba, Zibanejad
*Although they were not drafted by the Rangers, Fox, Georgiev, Hajek, and Howden have not played in the NHL with a team other than the Rangers
Note: only players on the active roster are included
Henrik Lundqvist is entering his 15th season with the Rangers in 2019-20, and he is expected to make his 14th consecutive start in a season-opening game with the Rangers (dating back to 2006-07). According to NHL Stats and Information, Lundqvist will become the second goaltender in NHL history to start at least 14 consecutive season-opening games with the same franchise (Martin Brodeur - 18 straight with New Jersey). By making his first appearance of the 2019-20 season, Lundqvist will pass Mike Richter for the most regular seasons with at least one appearance by a Rangers goaltender in franchise history, and he will tie Richter for the most seasons with at least one appearance (regular season or playoffs) in Rangers history (Note: Richter appeared in at least one regular season game with the Rangers in 14 different seasons from 1989-90 - 2002-03 but made his NHL debut during the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs).
Lundqvist enters the 2019-20 season with 985 career appearances (regular season and playoffs combined) as a Ranger. He is 15 appearances away from becoming the sixth player to appear in at least 1,000 career regular season and playoff games with the Rangers in franchise history (along with Brian Leetch, Harry Howell, Rod Gilbert, Ron Greschner, and Walt Tkaczuk).
Kaapo Kakko is expected to make his NHL/Rangers debut in tonight's game. Kakko, who was selected by the Rangers with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, will become the 13th-youngest player (and the 10th-youngest skater) to play a game with the Rangers in franchise history (18 years, 232 days old - credit: NHL Stats and Information).
BREAD AND BUTTER
Artemi Panarin is expected to make his Rangers debut in tonight's game. Since he entered the NHL in 2015-16, Panarin ranks eighth in the league in points (320). He also ranks fourth in even strength points over his four seasons in the league (240), trailing only Connor McDavid (271), Patrick Kane (269), and Sidney Crosby (245).
Jacob Trouba is expected to make his Rangers debut in tonight's game. Trouba established career-highs in several categories last season, including games played (82), assists (42), and points (50). Trouba's 42 assists were the second-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger last season, and his 50 points were the third-most by an NHL defenseman 25 years old or younger.
Marc Staal enters the 2019-20 season with 840 career games played as a Ranger. When he skates in his first game this season, he will tie Rangers legend Vic Hadfield for seventh place on the franchise's all-time games played list. Staal is entering his 10th season as an alternate captain with the Rangers. Since the Rangers/NHL began to have players wear an 'A' on their jersey as an alternate captain during the 1985-86 season (after not doing so for approximately a decade), Staal is one of only three players who have either worn a 'C' or an 'A' as captain or an alternate captain with the Rangers for 10 or more seasons. The only other two Rangers who have done so over the span are Brian Leetch (13 seasons - alternate captain from 1991-92 - 1996-97; 2000-01 - 2003-04, and captain from 1997-98-1999-00) and Mark Messier (10 seasons - captain from 1991-92 - 1996-97; 2000-01 - 2003-04)