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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Maple Leafs 12.20.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

RANGERS vs. MAPLE LEAFS, 7pm
Madison Square Garden
MSG 2, 1050 AM

GAME DAY
The Rangers play their 34th game of the 2019-20 season and continue a three-game homestand tonight, December 20, against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden. New York has earned at least one point in nine of the last 13 games (7-4-2 record) and has won eight of the last 15 games (8-5-2 record). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 14 of the last 21 games (11-7-3 record) and in 18 of the last 27 games (14-9-4 record).

RANGERS VS. MAPLE LEAFS

  • All-Time*: 232-280-95-7 (133-115-56-4 at home; 99-165-39-3 on the road) *Note: The first three games between the two franchises were when the Maple Leafs franchise was called the Toronto St. Patricks. The franchise changed its name during the 1926-27 season.
  • 2019-20: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's game, the Rangers and Maple Leafs will face each other on the following dates: Dec. 28 (at Toronto), Feb. 5 (at MSG).
  • 2018-19: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by two or fewer goals. Alexandar Georgiev posted a 2-1-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA and a .956 SV% (130 saves on 136 shots) in three appearances in the season series. Georgiev made a single-game career-high 55 saves in the Rangers' win against Toronto on Feb. 10, 2019, and the 55 saves were also the most any Rangers goaltender has made in a game the team won in franchise history. Georgiev also made 44 saves in the Blueshirts' 2-1 win on Mar. 23, 2019 at Toronto, and he became the first Rangers goaltender since expansion (1967-68) to post two 40-save wins against one opponent in the same season. Chris Kreider tied for first on the Rangers with two assists and three points in the two games he played in the season series. The Rangers were 9-for-9 on the penalty kill in the three contests.
  • The Rangers have won eight of their last 13 games against Toronto, dating back to Feb. 10, 2015 (8-5-0 record over the span).
  • The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 15 of their last 23 games against the Maple Leafs, dating back to Jan. 14, 2012 (14-8-1 record over the span). In addition, the Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 27 of their last 38 games against Toronto, dating back to Dec. 29, 2007 (22-11-5 record over the span).
  • Andy Bathgate is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals (51), assists (82), and points (133) against Toronto, and he ranks second in games played (142) against Toronto in franchise history. Harry Howell is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played against the Maple Leafs (222). Gump Worsley is the Rangers' all-time leader in wins against Toronto (38).

RANGERS-MAPLE LEAFS CONNECTIONS

  • Greg McKegg was selected by Toronto in the third round (62nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, played in the Maple Leafs organization for parts of four seasons (2010-11; 2012-13 - 2014-15), and skated in four NHL games with Toronto over parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • The Rangers have five Ontario-born players on their roster: Greg McKegg (St. Thomas, Ontario), Micheal Haley (Guelph, Ontario), Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario), Marc Staal (Thunder Bay, Ontario), and Ryan Strome (Mississauga, Ontario).
  • Brendan Shanahan played two seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 and 2007-08). Chris Drury and Shanahan were teammates with the Rangers in 2007-08.
  • William Nylander is the son of former Ranger Michael Nylander, who played two seasons with the Blueshirts (2005-06 and 2006-07). Henrik Lundqvist and Michael Nylander were teammates with the Rangers in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and Lundqvist, Michael Nylander, and Brendan Shanahan were all teammates with the Rangers in 2006-07.
  • Adam Brooks represented the Rangers at the 2015 Traverse City Tournament.
  • Ryan Strome and John Tavares were teammates with the Islanders for parts of four seasons (2013-14 - 2016-17). Micheal Haley and Tavares were teammates with the Islanders for parts of three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12).
  • Jacob Trouba, Brendan Lemieux, and Nic Petan were all teammates with the Jets for parts of two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19). Trouba and Petan were teammates with the Jets for parts of four seasons (2015-16 - 2018-19). In addition, Lemieux and Petan were teammates in the Jets organization (either with the Jets or the Manitoba Moose of the AHL) for parts of three seasons (2016-17 - 2018-19). Trouba and Michael Hutchinson were teammates with the Jets for parts of five seasons (2013-14 - 2017-18).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Jason Spezza were teammates with the Senators for parts of three seasons (2011-12 - 2013-14). Zibanejad and Cody Ceci were teammates with the Senators for parts of three seasons (2013-14 - 2015-16).
  • Ryan Strome and Pontus Aberg were teammates with the Oilers for part of one season (2017-18).
  • Micheal Haley and Michael Hutchinson were teammates with the Panthers for part of one season (2018-19).
  • Brendan Smith and John Tavares were teammates with the Toronto Marlboros Bantam AAA Team in 2003-04 and the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget AAA Team in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) in 2004-05. In addition, Smith and Tavares were also teammates with Canada-Ontario at the 2006 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Adam Fox and Alexander Kerfoot were teammates with Harvard University for one season (2016-17). Fox and Kerfoot helped Harvard win the ECAC Hockey Championship in 2016-17, and both players were named to the ECAC Hockey First All-Star Team.
  • Brady Skjei and Justin Holl were teammates at the University of Minnesota for two seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14).
  • Jacob Trouba and Zach Hyman were teammates at the University of Michigan for one season (2013-13).
  • Henrik Lundqvist and William Nylander helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Lundqvist and Nylander also represented Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Mika Zibanejad and Pontus Aberg were teammates in the Djurgardens organization in Sweden for three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12). In addition, Zibanejad and Aberg helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Brady Skjei, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner were all selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2016-17.
  • Artemi Panarin and Auston Matthews won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year in back-to-back seasons (Panarin - 2015-16; Matthews - 2016-17).
  • Ryan Strome and Cody Ceci helped Canada-Ontario earn a silver medal at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Brady Skjei and Auston Matthews represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and David Quinn was one of the team's Assistant Coaches in the tournament.
  • Tony DeAngelo and Auston Matthews represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Tony DeAngelo and Trevor Moore represented the United States at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
  • Marc Staal and John Tavares represented Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, and Rangers legend Mark Messier was the team's General Manager in the tournament.
  • Pavel Buchnevich and Ilya Mikheyev represented Russia at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Jason Spezza represented Sweden and Canada, respectively, at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 2001 and 2002.
  • Chris Kreider and John Tavares were both selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Tony DeAngelo, Kasperi Kapanen, and William Nylander were all selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Brett Howden and Auston Matthews were both selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Jacob Trouba, Auston Matthews, and Morgan Rielly were all teammates with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Ryan Strome, Cody Ceci, and Morgan Rielly all represented Canada during the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge.
  • Brady Skjei, Jacob Trouba, Cody Ceci, and Morgan Rielly were all selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Kaapo Kakko and Jason Spezza were both selected with the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft (Kakko - 2019 by the Rangers; Spezza - 2001 by Ottawa).
  • Tyson Barrie was coached by David Quinn and David Oliver in the Avalanche organization (Quinn - Assistant Coach with the Avalanche in 2012-13; Oliver - Assistant Coach with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League in 2011-12 and 2012-13).
  • Lindy Ruff coached Jason Spezza with the Stars for three seasons (2014-15 - 2016-17). In addition, Ruff coached Spezza on Canada's silver medal-winning team at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.
  • Tony DeAngelo was coached by Sheldon Keefe with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for part of one season (2014-15).
  • Brett Howden was coached by Sheldon Keefe with Canada-White at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
  • Micheal Haley was coached by Paul McFarland (Assistant Coach) with the Panthers for parts of two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19).
  • Brendan Smith was coached by Andrew Brewer (Video Coach) with the Red Wings for one season (2014-15).
  • Ryan Strome was coached by Andrew Brewer (Video Coach) with Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship in back-to-back years (2012 and 2013); Canada earn a bronze medal in the tournament in 2012. Strome and Morgan Rielly represented Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Lindy Ruff (Assistant Coach) and Andrew Brewer (Video Coach) were both members of Canada's coaching staff at the 2014 Winter Olympics and helped Canada win a gold medal in the tournament; John Tavares played for Canada in the tournament. Jim Ramsay was also Canada's Athletic Trainer in the tournament. In addition, Ruff and Brewer were also part of the same coaching staff with Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Lindy Ruff and Dave Hakstol were both members of Canada's coaching staff at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. Ruff and Hakstol helped Canada earn a silver medal in the tournament.
  • Benoit Allaire and Laurence Gilman worked with the Coyotes together for six seasons (1998-99 - 2003-04).

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. MAPLE LEAFS

  • Alexandar Georgiev - 3 GP, 2-1-0, 2.01 GAA, .956 SV% - Georgiev has earned a win in each of his last two appearances against the Maple Leafs, posting a 0.99 GAA and a .980 SV% (99 saves on 101 shots) in those two contests. He made a single-game career-high 55 saves and earned a win on Feb. 10, 2019 against Toronto at MSG, and he made 44 saves to earn a win on Mar. 23, 2019 at Toronto. Georgiev has stopped 130 of 136 shots he has faced in three career appearances against the Maple Leafs. Last season, Georgiev became the first Rangers goaltender since expansion (1967-68) to post two 40-save wins against one opponent in the same season.
  • Artemi Panarin - 10 GP, 4-8-12 - Panarin has recorded a point in eight of 10 career games against the Maple Leafs, including each of the last three games (one goal, two assists in his last three contests).
  • Chris Kreider - 16 GP, 4-10-14 - Kreider has tallied a point in 11 of 16 career games against Toronto. He has recorded a point in six of his last seven games against the Maple Leafs, registering eight points (two goals, six assists) over the span. He has also tallied a point in each of his last four games against Toronto (one goal, five assists in the four games).
  • Marc Staal - 34 GP, 3-10-13 - Staal has posted four career multi-point games against Toronto. He has recorded 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his last 19 games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Mika Zibanejad - 25 GP, 7-5-12 - Zibanejad has notched a point in five of his last 12 games against Toronto (four goals, one assist).
  • Ryan Strome - 16 GP, 3-6-9 - Strome has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last 11 games against Toronto, and he registered the game-winning goal in overtime in the Rangers' last game against the Maple Leafs on Mar. 23, 2019.
  • Jacob Trouba - 9 GP, 2-4-6 - Trouba has notched a point in six of nine career games against Toronto, and he has tallied an assist/point in three of his last five games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Pavel Buchnevich - 8 GP, 2-2-4 - Buchnevich has recorded a point in four of eight career games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Brady Skjei - 9 GP, 1-3-4 - Skjei has tallied an assist/point in two of the last three games against Toronto (two assists). 

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:
  • Greg Brown and Lindy Ruff were teammates with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) for one season (1991-92).
  • Pavel Buchnevich and Alexandar Georgiev were teammates while representing Russia in international competition during the 2014-15 season.
  • Filip Chytil and Libor Hajek represented the Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • John Davidson was the Columbus Blue Jackets' President of Hockey Operations when the team acquired Artemi Panarin from the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren were teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program for two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) and have represented the United States in four international tournaments. Fox and Lindgren helped the United States earn a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, a silver medal at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge, a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, and a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship, and the two players were a defense pair in several of those tournaments. Fox and Lindgren were coached by Greg Brown (Assistant Coach) at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 2017 and 2018.
  • Adam Fox, Chris Kreider, and Brady Skjei all represented the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. Rangers Assistant General Manager Chris Drury was the General Manager for the United States' team for the tournament.
  • Brett Howden and Libor Hajek were teammates with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL) for part of one season (2016-17) prior to being teammates with the Rangers. Howden and Hajek were part of a trade between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Rangers on Feb. 26, 2018.
  • Chris Kreider was coached by Greg Brown (Assistant Coach) for three seasons at Boston College (2009-10 - 2011-12), and Boston College won two National Championships in those three seasons (2009-10 and 2011-12).
  • Brendan Lemieux and Jacob Trouba were teammates with the Jets for parts of two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19).
  • Brendan Lemieux's father, Claude Lemieux, and Chris Drury were teammates with the Avalanche for parts of two seasons (1998-99 and 1999-00).
  • Greg McKegg's great uncle is Lou Fontinato, who played parts of seven seasons with the Rangers (1954-55 - 1960-61).
  • Artemi Panarin and Brady Skjei were both selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team (Panarin - 2015-16; Skjei - 2016-17).
  • 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).
  • Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba were teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12). Skjei and Trouba helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship and a silver medal at the 2011 World U17 Hockey Challenge. Skjei and Trouba also represented the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Both players were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Brady Skjei and Ryan Lindgren's older brother, Charlie (a goaltender in the Canadiens' organization), grew up together in Lakeville, Minnesota and were teammates at Lakeville North High School.
  • 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).
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