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Pregame Notes: Rangers vs. Sharks 10.23.17

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS
Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 2-5-2 (6 pts)
Sharks: 3-4-0 (6 pts)
 
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 10th game of the 2017-18 season tonight, Oct. 23, against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight's game is the fifth contest of the Blueshirts' season-long, six-game homestand, and the Rangers will play three of their next four games at MSG. In addition, tonight's contest is the second of three consecutive games the Rangers will play against Western Conference opponents.

RANGERS VS. SHARKS

  • All-Time: 24-9-3-1 (12-4-1-0 at home; 12-5-2-1 on the road)
  • 2017-18: Tomorrow's game is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Sharks, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Sharks will play against each other on the following date: Jan. 25 (at San Jose).
  • 2016-17: The Rangers posted a 1-0-1 record (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-1 on the road). The Blueshirts tallied 11 goals in the two contests. Mats Zuccarello led the Rangers with four points (one goal, three assists) in the season series, while J.T. Miller led the Blueshirts with two goals in the two contests. Brady Skjei tied for the team lead with three assists in the season series and Kevin Hayes recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in two games.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in five of their last six meetings against San Jose, dating back to Oct. 19, 2014 (4-1-1 record over the span).
  • New York has played three home games against San Jose over the last three seasons, all in October, and has won all three contests (Oct. 19, 2014 - 4-0 win; Oct. 19, 2015 - 4-0 win, Oct. 17, 2016 - 7-4 win). 

RANGERS-SHARKS CONNECTIONS

  • Rick Nash and Joe Thornton were teammates with Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics, and they helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition, Nash and Thornton were teammates with HC Davos of National League A (NLA) in Switzerland in 2004-05 and 2012-13.
  • Ryan McDonagh and Joe Pavelski:
  • McDonagh and Pavelski are two of six current American-born captains in the NHL (Justin Faulk - co-captain in Carolina; Nick Foligno - Columbus; Andy Greene - New Jersey; Blake Wheeler - Winnipeg).
  • McDonagh and Pavelski both played college hockey at the University of Wisconsin (McDonagh - 2007-08 - 2009-10; Pavelski - 2004-05 - 2005-06).
  • McDonagh and Pavelski tied for the team lead in points while representing the United States at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey (two).
  • Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Paul Martin, and Joe Pavelski all represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Rick Nash and Marc-Edouard Vlasic helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Michael Grabner and Jannik Hansen were teammates with the Canucks for part of one season (2009-10) and were teammates with the Canucks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose for one full season (2007-08).
  • Ondrej Pavelec and Tomas Hertl represented the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Championship in 2013 and 2015, and the two helped the Czech Republic earn a bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Nick Holden and Mikkel Boedker were teammates with Colorado for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Jannik Hansen's first head coach in the NHL was Alain Vigneault (Vancouver - 2007-08 - 2012-13).
  • Kevin Labanc was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Staten Island.
  • Joakim Ryan was born in Rumson, New Jersey and was a Rangers fan as a kid.
  • Jeff Gorton was the Bruins' Director of Scouting Information when the team selected Joe Thornton with the first overall pick of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SHARKS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 10 GP, 4-4-1, 2.63 GAA, .925 SV%, 1 SO - Lundqvist has allowed one goal or fewer in three of his last five appearances against the Sharks, and he has made at least 30 saves in four of those five contests (2-2-1 record, 2.26 GAA, .937 SV%, 1 SO over the span).
  • Rick Nash - 41 GP, 20-8-28 - Nash has tallied 18 points (14 goals, four assists) in his last 23 games against San Jose, as well as nine goals in his last 15 contests against the Sharks.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk - 21 GP, 5-12-17 - Shattenkirk has recorded three assists/points in his last two games against San Jose, and he has tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last 10 contests against the Sharks.
  • Chris Kreider - 7 GP, 2-3-5 - Kreider has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five games against San Jose.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 9 GP, 2-4-6 - Zuccarello has notched a point in four of his last five contests against the Sharks, registering six points (two goals, four assists) over the span.
  • Kevin Hayes - 6 GP, 2-2-4 - Hayes has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in his last two games against San Jose, and he registered his first career NHL goal/point against the Sharks on Oct. 19, 2014 at MSG.
  • Jesper Fast - 5 GP, 2-2-4 - Fast has recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four games against the Sharks, and he notched a point in both meetings between New York and San Jose in 2016-17.
  • Adam Cracknell - 11 GP, 3-2-5 - Cracknell registered his first career NHL hat trick and established single-game career-highs with three points and a plus-three rating in his last game against San Jose on Mar. 24, 2017.

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. 

POINT TAKEN
The Rangers enter the contest with a three-game point streak (1-0-2 record over the span). The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in four of seven home games in 2017-18.
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have registered at least three goals in each of the last three games (11 goals over the span), and nine different Blueshirts have tallied a goal in the three contests. Through nine games this season, 14 different Rangers have registered at least one goal. The Blueshirts are one of five NHL teams that have at least 14 players who have tallied a goal this season, and the only teams that have more players who have recorded a goal than the Rangers have are Columbus (15) and Pittsburgh (15). The Rangers have averaged 3.04 goals per game at MSG since the start of last season (146 goals in regulation/overtime in 48 games).
 
EVEN IT UP
The Blueshirts have 12 players who have recorded an even strength goal this season. The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL in players who have tallied at least one even strength goal in 2017-18.
 
HOME COOKING
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.
 
WHAT A LINE
The Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast line registered five points (three goals, two assists) on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville, and each member of the line recorded a goal in the contest. Over the last two contests, each of the three players has posted a plus-four rating or better (Hayes - plus-five; Vesey - plus-four; Fast - plus-four), and each player has also registered at least two points (Hayes - two goals, one assist; Vesey - one goal, one assist; Fast - one goal, one assist).
 
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
The Rangers earned their first win against a Western Conference opponent this season on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville. New York posted an 11-2-1 record against Pacific Division opponents last season, including a 6-1-0 record against Pacific Division opponents at MSG.
 
CLOSE CALL
All of the Rangers' last seven games have been decided by two goals or fewer, and three of their last four contests have been decided by one goal.
 
SHOOTING GALLERY
The Blueshirts have registered at least 30 shots on goal in five of the last six games and in seven of nine games in 2017-18.
  
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault has earned 616 career wins as an NHL head coach, and he is one win 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 (.620).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 407th career NHL win on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville, tying Glenn Hall for ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. He has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his last six appearances, posting a 2.32 GAA, a .928 SV%, and 1 SO over the span. Lundqvist has been selected as one of the game's Three Stars in 299 of his 750 career NHL appearances (he has been selected as one of the game's Three Stars in 39.9% of his career appearances).
 
SHATT STATS
Kevin Shattenkirk enters the contest with 499 career NHL games played. Shattenkirk has tallied a point in six of nine games this season (two goals, five assists). He is tied for third among NHL defensemen in games with an assist (five) and games with a point (six) this season. Shattenkirk is also tied for third among NHL defensemen in power play points this season (four).
 
RICK ROLLING
Rick Nash enters the contest with 998 career NHL games played. He has recorded at least four shots on goal in seven of nine games this season, and he is one of three NHL players who have recorded four or more shots on goal in at least seven games in 2017-18 (along with Alex Ovechkin and Phil Kessel).
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has tallied an assist/point in five of the last eight games (two goals, six assists), and he leads the Rangers in assists (six) and points (eight) this season.
 
MIKA MAGIC
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) and is tied for sixth in power play points (five) this season.
 
CENTER OF ATTENTION
David Desharnais enters the contest with a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists), and he has recorded a goal in two of the last three games. He ranks second in the NHL (min. 50 faceoffs taken) in faceoff win percentage this season (62.6%; 52-for-83).
 
ON THE MARC
Marc Staal enters the contest with 698 career games played as a Ranger. With his next appearance, Staal will pass Mark Messier and Steve Vickers for sole possession of 12th place on the franchise's all-time games played list. The only Rangers' first round draft pick who has played in more career games with the Blueshirts than Staal has is Brian Leetch (1,129). *Note: The NHL Amateur/Entry Draft began in 1963
 
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning goal, on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville. He has recorded a goal/point in each of the last two games (two goals, one assist, plus-five rating) and in three of the last five games (three goals, one assist).
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-5 (9:32) on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for 10th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (22.9%; 8-for-35).
  • The Rangers have tallied a power play goal in five of nine games this season. 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 5-for-5 (10:00) on Oct. 21 vs. Nashville.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Kevin Shattenkirk - 1 game away from 500 in his NHL career
  • Ondrej Pavelec - 2 saves away from 10,000 in his NHL career
  • Rick Nash - 2 games away from 1,000 in his NHL career
  • Marc Staal - 2 games away from 700 in his NHL career
  • Brady Skjei - 4 games away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Chris Kreider - 4 assists 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
  • Mats Zuccarello - 8 games away from 400 in his NHL career 

INJURIES (5 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
None
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
Oct. 21 - Acquired Ryan Sproul from Detroit in exchange for Matt Puempel
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Oct. 22, 1966 - Rod Gilbert registered his first career NHL hat trick and tallied an assist as the Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs played to a 4-4 tie in Toronto.
  • Oct. 22, 1967 - Vic Hadfield tallied three points (one goal, two assists) as the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, at MSG in the first all-time meeting between the two teams.
  • Oct. 23, 1955 - Bill Gadsby registered three assists and Wally Hergesheimer tallied two goals, including the game-winning goal, as the Rangers rallied to defeat the Chicago Black Hawks, 5-4, at MSG.
  • Oct. 23, 1957 - Gump Worsley stopped all 26 shots he faced to earn a shutout and Dean Prentice tallied two goals as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0, at MSG.
  • Oct. 23, 1966 - Ed Giacomin stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn his first career NHL shutout, and Wayne Hillman registered the only goal of the game at 7:14 of the third period as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 1-0, at MSG.
  • Oct. 23, 1968 - Brad Park made his NHL debut as the Rangers defeated the Oakland Seals, 6-1, at MSG. Seven Rangers tallied two points in the game (including each member of the G-A-G Line), and Ed Giacomin stopped 33 of 34 shots he faced to earn the win.
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