NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, 12:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Rangers: 1-5-2 (4 pts)
Predators: 4-2-1 (9 pts)
The Rangers play their ninth game of the 2017-18 season today, Oct. 21, against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Today's game is the fourth contest of the Blueshirts' season-long, six-game homestand, and the Rangers will play four of their next five games at MSG. In addition, today's contest is the first of three consecutive games the Rangers will play against Western Conference opponents (Oct. 23 vs. San Jose and Oct. 26 vs. Arizona).
RANGERS VS. PREDATORS
- All-Time: 13-8-1-2 (6-5-1-1 at home; 7-3-0-1 on the road)
- 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Predators, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Predators will play against each other on the following date: Feb. 3 (at Nashville).
- 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 2-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). Both games were decided by one goal. Kevin Hayes led all skaters with four assists, four points, and a plus-four rating in the season series, and J.T. Miller led all skaters with two goals in two games. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 1.92 GAA and a .942 SV% (65 saves on 69 shots) in two appearances.
- The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 games against Nashville (7-3-0), including four of the last five games against the Predators (4-1-0).
- New York has won three consecutive games against Nashville at MSG, dating back to Mar. 2, 2015.
- The Blueshirts have posted a shutout in three of their last nine games against the Predators.
- Jimmy Vesey was selected by Nashville in the third round (66th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
- Peter Laviolette played 12 games with the Rangers during the 1988-89 season.
- Kevin Hayes, Ryan Johansen, and Austin Watson were all selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
- David Desharnais, P.K. Subban, and Alexei Emelin were all teammates with Montreal for five seasons (2011-12 - 2015-16). Desharnais and Emelin were teammates with Montreal for parts of six seasons (2011-12 - 2016-17), while Desharnais and Subban were teammates with the Canadiens for parts of seven seasons (2009-10 - 2015-16). In addition, Desharnais, Subban, Emelin, and Yannick Weber were all teammates with Montreal for parts of two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13).
- Ryan McDonagh, P.K. Subban, and Yannick Weber were all selected by the Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh - first round/12th overall; Subban - second round/43rd overall; Weber; third round/73rd overall).
- Nick Holden and Cody McLeod were teammates with the Avalanche for three seasons (2013-14 - 2015-16). Holden, McLeod, and Paul Carey were all teammates with Colorado for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
- Kevin Shattenkirk and Nick Bonino were teammates at Boston University for three seasons (2007-08 - 2009-10) and helped the school win the National Championship in 2008-09.
- Rick Nash and P.K. Subban helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
- Mika Zibanejad and Pontus Aberg were teammates in the Djurgardens organization in Sweden for three seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12). In addition, Zibanejad, Aberg, and Viktor Arvidsson helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
- Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Craig Smith all represented the United States at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
- Kevin Hayes and Craig Smith represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
- Jesper Fast and Calle Jarnkrok represented Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- J.T. Miller and Austin Watson represented the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Rick Nash and Ryan Johansen were teammates with the Blue Jackets for one season (2011-12).
- Kevin Shattenkirk and Cody McLeod were teammates with Colorado for part of one season (2010-11).
- Ryan McDonagh and Craig Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2009-10).
- Henrik Lundqvist and Mattias Ekholm represented Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
- Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton skated in eight games with the Rangers during the 1986-87 season.
- Anthony Bitetto is from Island Park, New York.
- Steven Kampfer and Austin Watson are both from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. PREDATORS
- Henrik Lundqvist - 11 GP, 7-4-0, 1.92 GAA, .937 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has posted a better SV% against Nashville than against any other NHL opponent thus far in his career. In his last nine appearances against the Predators (dating back to Mar. 12, 2009), he has posted a 6-3-0 record, along with a 1.89 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 2 SO. Lundqvist has posted a shutout in two of his last six appearances against Nashville.
- Rick Nash - 59 GP, 26-16-42 - Nash has registered a goal/point in six of the last seven games against Nashville (six goals), and he has tallied 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in his last 16 games against the Predators.
- Nick Holden - 14 GP, 5-4-9 - Holden has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in his last seven games against Nashville.
- Kevin Hayes - 6 GP, 1-6-7 - Hayes has registered four assists/points in the last two games against the Predators and has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last four contests against Nashville.
- Mats Zuccarello - 8 GP, 0-6-6 - Zuccarello has notched an assist/point in four of eight career games against the Predators.
- David Desharnais - 6 GP, 3-2-5 - Desharnais has tallied a point in four of six career games against Nashville.
- J.T. Miller - 6 GP, 3-0-3 - Miller has recorded three goals/points in the last three games against the Predators.
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).
- Adam Cracknell and Kevin Shattenkirk were teammates with the Blues for parts of four seasons (2010-11 - 2013-14).
- Adam Cracknell was coached by Lindy Ruff in Dallas during the 2016-17 season.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, New York. He was a Rangers fan growing up, and his favorite player was Brian Leetch.
The Rangers have registered at least three goals in each of the last two games (seven goals over the span), and six different Blueshirts have tallied a goal in the two contests. Through eight games this season, 11 different Rangers have registered at least one goal. The Blueshirts are tied for seventh in the NHL in players who have recorded at least one goal in 2017-18. The Rangers have averaged 3.02 goals per game at MSG since the start of last season (142 goals in regulation/overtime in 47 games).
EVEN IT UP
The Blueshirts have 10 players who have recorded an even strength goal this season. The Rangers are tied for fifth in the NHL in players who have tallied at least one even strength goal in 2017-18.
New York continues its season-long, six-game homestand tomorrow. The homestand is the Rangers' longest since their franchise-record, nine-game homestand from Dec. 7, 2013 - Dec. 23, 2013. The Rangers play 10 of their first 13 games, as well as 13 of their first 18 games, this season at MSG.
The Blueshirts recorded a season-high, 41 shots on goal on Oct. 19 against the Islanders. The Rangers have registered at least 30 shots on goal in each of the last five games and in seven of eight games in 2017-18. The Rangers rank eighth in the NHL in shots on goal per game in 2017-18 (34.3).
HOT AT THE DOT
The Rangers have won 51.4% of faceoffs taken this season (250-for-486), including 54.6% of faceoffs taken in the defensive zone.
The Blueshirts rank 10th in the NHL in fewest penalty minutes per game this season (8:45). 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.
At least one Rangers defenseman registered an assist/point on each of the team's three goals in regulation on Oct. 19 against the Islanders, and four different Blueshirts defensemen recorded an assist/point in the contest (Kevin Shattenkirk, Marc Staal, Brendan Smith, and Ryan McDonagh).
Alain Vigneault has earned 615 career wins as an NHL head coach, and he is two wins away from tying Jacques Lemaire for 13th place on the league's all-time wins list among head coaches. Vigneault leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 games coached) in points percentage in franchise history (.619).
Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in three of his last five appearances, posting a 2.38 GAA, a .929 SV% (157 saves on 169 shots), and 1 SO. He enters the game with 406 career NHL wins, and he is one win away from tying Glenn Hall for ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list.
Kevin Shattenkirk enters tomorrow's contest with a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists), and he has tallied a point in six of eight games this season (two goals, five assists). Shattenkirk is tied for first among NHL defensemen in games with an assist (five) and games with a point (six) this season. He is also tied for third among NHL defensemen in power play points this season (four), and he is tied for the team lead in assists (five) and points (seven) this season.
Rick Nash enters tomorrow's contest with 997 career NHL games played. He is tied for fourth in the NHL in shots on goal (34) and takeaways (nine) this season. Nash has registered 18 shots on goal over the last four games, and he has recorded at least four shots on goal in each contest over the span. In addition, Nash is one of two NHL players who have registered at least four shots on goal in seven different games this season (along with Alex Ovechkin). Nash is tied for the team lead in minor penalties drawn in 2017-18 (four).
CENTER OF ATTENTION
David Desharnais enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists), and he has recorded a goal in each of the last two games. He ranks fourth in the NHL (min. 50 faceoffs taken) in faceoff win percentage this season (63.6%; 49-for-77). Desharnais is also tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating in 2017-18 (plus-three).
ON THE MARC
Marc Staal enters the contest with 697 career games played as a Ranger. With his next appearance, Staal will tie Mark Messier and Steve Vickers for 12th place on the franchise's all-time games played list (698). The only Rangers' first round draft picks who have played in more career games with the Blueshirts than Staal has are Brian Leetch (1,129) and Vickers (698). *Note: The NHL Amateur/Entry Draft began in 1963
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller tied a single-game career-high with three points (one goal, two assists) on Oct. 17 vs. Pittsburgh. He has registered an assist/point in four of the last seven games (two goals, five assists), and he is tied for the team lead in assists (five), points (seven), and plus/minus rating (plus-three) this season.
Mika Zibanejad recorded a goal/point in each of the Rangers' first four games in 2017-18. Zibanejad became the second player in Rangers history to record a goal in each of the team's first four games of a season (Rick Nash - 2014-15). He is tied for the NHL lead in power play goals (four; tied with Filip Forsberg), is tied for fourth in power play points (five), ranks sixth in shots on goal (33), and is tied for seventh in goals (five) this season.
- The Rangers were 0-for-1 (2:00) on Oct. 19 vs. NY Islanders.
- The Blueshirts rank 11th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (23.3%; 7-for-30).
- The Rangers have tallied a power play goal in four of eight games this season.
- The Rangers were 2-for-3 (4:29) on Oct. 19 vs. NY Islanders.
- Ondrej Pavelec - 2 saves away from 10,000 in his NHL career
- Rick Nash - 3 games away from 1,000 in his NHL career
- Marc Staal - 3 games away from 700 in his NHL career
- Kevin Shattenkirk - 2 games away from 500 in his NHL career
- Chris Kreider - 4 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
- Brady Skjei - 5 games away from 100 in his NHL career
- Mika Zibanejad - 6 points away from 200 in his NHL career
- Nick Holden - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career
INJURIES (5 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Oct. 20, 1963 - Phil Goyette established a franchise record for assists in a period, tallying four assists in the first period of the Rangers' 5-1 win against the Boston Bruins at MSG.
- Oct. 21, 1972 - The Rangers played their first regular season game against the Islanders and won the contest, 2-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
- Oct. 21, 1979 - Phil Esposito became the second player in NHL history to record 1,500 career points in the league (along with Gordie Howe). The Rangers defeated the Penguins, 6-3, at MSG.
- Oct. 21, 2009 - Mark Messier and Mike Richter were among the recipients of the Lester Patrick Trophy, recognizing contributions of outstanding service to hockey in the United States.