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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Sabres 02.07.20

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

RANGERS vs. SABRES, 7:00 pm
Madison Square Garden
MSG Network, 98.7 FM

GAME DAY
The Rangers play their 53rd game of the 2019-20 season and continue a four-game homestand tonight, February 7, against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts have won three of the last four games (3-1-0 record), five of the last eight games (5-3-0 record), and seven of the last 11 games (7-4-0 record).

RANGERS VS. SABRES

  • All-Time: 77-77-25-5 (43-30-15-3 at home; 34-47-10-2 on the road)
  • 2019-20: Tonight's game is the second of three meetings between the Rangers and Sabres, and the second of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following their 6-2 win on Oct. 24 at MSG. Ryan Strome tallied two goals in the game. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Sabres will face each other on the following date: Mar. 22 (at Buffalo).
  • The Rangers enter the contest with a three-game winning streak against Buffalo and have outscored the Sabres, 15-5, in the three games. 

RANGERS-SABRES CONNECTIONS

  • Jimmy Vesey played three seasons with the Rangers (2016-17 - 2018-19).
  • Brendan Lemieux was selected by Buffalo in the second round (31st overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Lindy Ruff served as the Sabres Head Coach for parts of 15 seasons (1997-98 - 2012-13), and he is the franchise's all-time leader among head coaches in several categories, including games coached (1,165) and wins (571). Ruff also played parts of 10 seasons with Buffalo (1979-80 - 1988-89).

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SABRES

  • Alexandar Georgiev - 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .961 SV% - Georgiev has made at least 30 saves and has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his two career appearances against the Sabres. He has made 74 saves on 77 shots in his career against Buffalo.
  • Jesper Fast - 16 GP, 3-8-11 - Fast enters the contest with a three-game point streak against the Sabres (one goal, two assists).
  • Ryan Strome - 14 GP, 5-2-7 - Strome has recorded six points (four goals, two assists) and a plus-nine rating in his last six games against Buffalo.
  • Brett Howden - 3 GP, 2-2-4 - Howden's four points against Buffalo are tied for the most he has registered against one opponent in his NHL career.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 home games, dating back to Dec. 22 at Anaheim (7-3-0 record), and have outscored their opponents, 42-28, in the 10 contests. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 13 of their last 20 home games (12-7-1 record).

DID YOU KNOW?
The Rangers are the only team that currently has a player ranked fifth or higher in the NHL in points (Artemi Panarin - fifth with 71) and a defenseman ranked fifth or higher among NHL defensemen in points (Tony DeAngelo - fifth with 41) this season. The last time the Blueshirts finished a season with a player ranked fifth or higher in the NHL in points, as well as a defenseman ranked fifth or higher among NHL defensemen in points, was 1996-97 (Wayne Gretzky and Brian Leetch).

WHAT A LINE
The Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich line registered seven points (three goals, four assists) and 17 shots on goal on Feb. 5 vs. Toronto. Each player tallied a goal, posted a multi-point game, and registered at least five shots on goal in the contest, and at least one of the three players notched a point on four of the team's five goals.

GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have tallied at least three goals in 11 of the last 16 games and rank eighth in the NHL in goals per game this season
(3.29).

TWO GOOD
New York has allowed two goals or fewer in two of the last four games, in five of the last eight games, and in six of the last 12 contests.

YOUTH SERVED
The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has had eight players 21 years old or younger appear in at least one game in 2019-20 and are one of three NHL teams that have had two goaltenders 24 years old or younger appear in at least one game this season.

ON POINT
Rangers defensemen have tallied 142 points (38 goals, 104 assists) in 2019-20. Blueshirts defensemen have recorded more goals and more points than defensemen from any other team this season.

SHOOTING GALLERY
The Rangers have outshot their opponents, 183-127, over the last five games (36.6 shots on goal per game and 25.4 shots on goal against per game), as well as 152-94 in four home games over the span (38.0 shots on goal per game and 23.5 shots on goal against
per game).

FROM RUSSIA WITH GLOVE
Igor Shesterkin has earned a win in four of his first five career NHL appearances. According to NHL Stats and Information, he is the second goaltender in Rangers history who has earned a win in four of his first five career NHL appearances (Cam Talbot) and is the first rookie goaltender in franchise history who has accomplished the feat (note: Talbot wasn't considered a rookie during the 2013-14 season due to his age). Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Shesterkin has earned a win in 100 of his 125 appearances in the NHL, AHL, and KHL. He has also earned a win in 21 of his 29 decisions between the NHL and AHL this season and has earned at least one point in 24 of those 29 decisions.

ALEXANDAR THE GREAT
Alexandar Georgiev has earned a win in two of his last three starts, and he allowed two goals and made 30 or more saves in each of the two wins over the span.

STATE OF THE ART-EMI
Artemi Panarin recorded his 70th point of the season on Jan. 31 vs. Detroit. According to NHL Stats and Information, he became the first player to register 70 or more points within his first 48 career games as a Ranger in franchise history. He is the only NHL player who has recorded 70 or more points and a plus-20 rating or better in 2019-20. Panarin is one of three NHL players (and the only winger) who have registered 70 or more points and have been assessed 15 or fewer penalty minutes in 2019-20 (Draisaitl and MacKinnon). He leads the NHL in even strength points (53), 5-on-5 points (46), and 5-on-5 assists (29) this season. Panarin's plus-25 on-ice even strength goal differential is tied for the fifth-best in the NHL this season. He has tallied a point in 23 of the Rangers' 26 wins in 2019-20.

MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad has tallied a point in four of the last five games (three goals, five assists) and has recorded a goal in three of the last four games. He has posted a multi-point game in four of the last seven contests (four goals, six assists) and in six of the last 11 games (five goals, nine assists). Zibanejad ranks 17th in the NHL in points per game (1.15) and ranks ninth in the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per game (0.54) this season.

KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider has recorded a point in each of his last four games (three goals, three assists), in nine of his last 11 games (seven goals, five assists), and in 18 of his last 23 games (13 goals, 11 assists).

DE-FENSE
Tony DeAngelo has tallied 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the last 11 games, and his 12 points since Jan. 7 are the second-most
among NHL defensemen (John Carlson - 13). DeAngelo is the first Rangers defenseman who has recorded at least 41 points in the team's first 52 games of a season since Brian Leetch in 2000-01.

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