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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Sabres 10.24.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

RANGERS vs. SABRES, 7 p.m.
Madison Square Garden
MSG Network, 98.7 FM

GAME DAY
The Rangers play their eighth game of the 2019-20 season and continue a season-long five-game homestand tonight, October 24, against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. Including tonight's game, the Rangers will play five of their next six games, and seven of their next nine contests, at MSG. Each of the Blueshirts' next three games are against Atlantic Division opponents (Buffalo, Boston, and Tampa Bay).

RANGERS VS. SABRES

  • All-Time: 76-77-25-5 (42-30-15-3 at home; 34-47-10-2 on the road) 
  • 2019-20: Tonight's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Sabres, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Sabres will face each other on the following dates: Feb. 7 (at MSG), Mar. 22 (at Buffalo). 
  • 2018-19: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Blueshirts outscored the Sabres, 10-6, in the season series and tied a single-game season-high with six goals in their 6-2 win on Feb. 15, 2019 at Buffalo. Two of the three contests were decided by two goals. Brett Howden recorded a point in both games he played (one goal, one assist), and he tallied his first career NHL goal/point on Oct. 6, 2018 at Buffalo. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 1-1-0 record, along with a 1.53 GAA and a .956 SV% (65 saves on 68 shots) in two appearances. 
  • The Rangers have won 15 of their last 19 games against Buffalo, dating back to Apr. 19, 2013 (15-4-0 record). New York has also won six of its last seven games against Buffalo, dating back to Feb. 2, 2017 (6-1-0 record). 
  • Since Oct. 7, 2001, 47 of 61 meetings between the Rangers and Sabres have been decided by two or fewer goals (77.0%), and 30 of 61 meetings have been decided by one goal or fewer (49.2%).

RANGERS-SABRES CONNECTIONS

  • Jimmy Vesey played three seasons with the Rangers (2016-17 - 2018-19). 
  • John Gilmour played parts of two seasons with the Rangers (2017-18 and 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). 
  • Chris Drury played three seasons with the Sabres (2003-04 - 2006-07) and was Buffalo's captain in parts of all three seasons. 
  • Greg Brown was selected by Buffalo in the second round (26th overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, and he played parts of two seasons with the Sabres (1990-91; 1992-93). 
  • Jack Eichel's Head Coach during his one season at Boston University was David Quinn (2014-15). During his one season under Quinn, Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey. 
  • Lias Andersson and Rasmus Dahlin represented Sweden at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 2017 and 2018. Andersson and Dahlin helped Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, and they were named two of Sweden's Top Three Players in the tournament. In addition, Andersson, Dahlin, and Victor Olofsson were teammates with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for part of one season (2017-18). 
  • Kaapo Kakko, Jack Eichel, and Sam Reinhart were all selected with the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft (Kakko - second overall by the Rangers in 2019; Eichel - second overall by Buffalo in 2015; Reinhart - second overall by Buffalo in 2014).

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SABRES

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 37 GP, 21-13-2, 2.32 GAA, .921 SV%, 2 SO - In his last 13 appearances against the Sabres (dating back to Oct. 31, 2013), Lundqvist has posted a 9-3-0 record, along with a 2.10 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 1 SO, and he has allowed one goal or fewer in six of the 13 contests. 
  • Mika Zibanejad - 22 GP, 2-13-15 - Zibanejad has registered a point in 11 of his last 16 games against Buffalo (two goals, 10 assists). Zibanejad's 13 assists against the Sabres are the most he has tallied against one opponent in his NHL career. 
  • Artemi Panarin - 10 GP, 4-7-11 - Panarin has tallied a point in six of his last seven games against the Sabres (four goals, six assists). 
  • Jesper Fast - 15 GP, 3-7-10 - Fast has notched a point in eight of the last 12 games against Buffalo (two goals, seven assists). He has also posted a plus-11 rating in his career against Buffalo, which is the best plus/minus rating he has against one opponent thus far in his NHL career. 
  • Jacob Trouba - 10 GP, 2-5-7 - Trouba has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in his last four games against the Sabres. 
  • Brett Howden - 2 GP, 1-1-2 - Howden has recorded a point in each of his two career games against the Sabres, and he tallied his first career NHL goal/point on Oct. 6, 2018 against Buffalo.

GARDEN PARTY
Tonight's game is the Rangers' 1,999th all-time regular-season game at the current Madison Square Garden, as well as the 2,000th alltime regular-season NHL game played at the current MSG (the Philadelphia Flyers played one home game at MSG on Mar. 3, 1968 against the Oakland Seals as a result of damage to the roof at The Spectrum). The Rangers are expected to play their 2,000th all-time regular-season game at the current MSG on Oct. 27 vs. Boston.
 
ON POINT
Rangers defensemen have registered 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) through seven games in 2019-20. Rangers defensemen have recorded 31.6% of the team's goals thus far this season, which is the third-highest percentage in the NHL. Blueshirts defensemen have also tallied 31.5% of the team's points this season, which is the fourth-highest percentage in the league.
 
CLOSE CALL

The Rangers' last two games have each been decided by one goal, and one of the two contests was decided in overtime. Last season, 42 of the Rangers' 82 games were decided by one goal, and New York was tied for second in the NHL in one-goal games in 2018-19.
 
MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad has tallied 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in seven games this season. He ranks fifth in the NHL in points per game (1.57) and is tied for fourth in the NHL in assists per game (1.00) this season. Zibanejad also ranks second among NHL forwards in average ice time in 2019-20 (23:08).

KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 450th career NHL win on Oct. 3 vs. Winnipeg, becoming the sixth goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 450 career wins (and the second to do so with one franchise). He is four wins away from tying Curtis Joseph (454) for fifth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. When he makes his next appearance (which will be the 862nd of his NHL career/with the Rangers), Lundqvist will pass Jean Ratelle for the sixth-most appearances as a Ranger (skater or goaltender) in franchise history. He has stopped 56 of 59 shots he has faced at even strength over his last two appearances (.949 SV% at even strength). Lundqvist is tied for first among NHL goaltenders in games with 40 or more saves this season (two).

HENR1K
Lundqvist has made 989 career appearances (regular-season and playoffs combined) as a Ranger. He is 11 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).

STATE OF THE ART-EMI
Artemi Panarin has recorded a goal/point in four of seven games this season (four goals, two assists), including two of the last three games. He has tallied 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in 10 career games at MSG.

DE-FENSE
Tony DeAngelo tallied two goals in the second period on Oct. 22 vs. Arizona, tying the Rangers' franchise record for goals in a period by a defenseman. DeAngelo is celebrating his 24th birthday today.

TROU BLUE
Jacob Trouba ranks 12th in the NHL in average ice time this season (24:42), and he is one of six NHL players who are averaging at least 3:00 of power play ice time and 3:00 of shorthanded ice time per game in 2019-20. Trouba also leads NHL defensemen in shots on goal per game this season (3.86).

STROME SURGE
Ryan Strome has notched an assist/point in each of the last two games and in four of the last five games. He is one of five Rangers who have tallied a point in four different games this season (along with Buchnevich, Panarin, Trouba, and Zibanejad).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:45) on Oct. 22 vs. Arizona. 
  • The Blueshirts have tallied at least one power play goal in four of seven games this season.  

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 4-for-5 (8:18) on Oct. 22 vs. Arizona. 
  • The Blueshirts are tied for third in the NHL in shorthanded goals this season (two).  

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • New York Rangers - 2 home games away from 2,000 all-time regular-season games at the current Madison Square Garden (expected to reach milestone on Oct. 27 vs. Boston) 
  • Henrik Lundqvist - 11 appearances away from 1,000 (regular-season and playoffs combined) in his NHL career/with the Rangers 
  • Ryan Strome - 1 point away from 200 in his NHL career 
  • Mika Zibanejad - 2 games away from 500 in his NHL career 
  • Brendan Smith - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career 
  • Brady Skjei - 9 points away from 100 in his NHL career/with the Rangers 
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