YEAR IN REVIEW - The Rangers posted a 51-26-6 record in 83 regular season games during the 2016 calendar year. The Blueshirts were one of three NHL teams that earned at least 50 regular season wins during the 2016 calendar year. In addition, the Rangers are the only NHL team that registered 50 or more regular season wins in each of the last two calendar years (2015 and 2016).
HATS OFF - At least one Ranger has recorded a hat trick in each of the last two games (Matt Puempel on Dec. 29 at Arizona and Chris Kreider tonight at Colorado). The last time the Blueshirts have had a player register a hat trick in two consecutive games was Dec. 23, 2014 vs. Washington (Rick Nash) and Dec. 27, 2014 vs. New Jersey (Derek Stepan).
THREE'S COMPANY - The line of Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in tonight's contest, and each player registered at least two points in the contest. The Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello line has tallied 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) over the last four games. In addition, the three players registered 46 points - including 17 goals - in the Rangers' 15 games in December this season. Zuccarello tallied an assist on nine consecutive goals from Kreider, dating from Dec. 3 vs. Carolina to Kreider's second goal of tonight's contest.
WINNING WAYS - The Rangers' 26 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most wins the team has earned through the first 39 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 26 wins in their first 39 games of a season five times in franchise history (1970-71, 1971-72, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only seasons in which the team earned more than 26 wins through the first 39 contests were 1971-72 (27) and 1993-94 (27). The Rangers are tied for the NHL lead in wins this season (tied with Columbus) and are the only NHL team that has earned 13 wins both at home and on the road this season. The Blueshirts extended their winning streak to three games. In addition, the Rangers have won 10 of their last 14 games (10-4-0), including nine of the last 12 contests (9-3-0).
GOALS GALORE - The Rangers lead the NHL in goals this season (135 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins). The Blueshirts have recorded six goals in each of their last two games (12 goals over the span) and are the only NHL team that has registered at least five goals in 13 games in 2016-17.
FOUR SCORE - The Blueshirts have tallied four or more goals in each of the last four games, recording 20 goals over the span (5.00 goals per game over the span).
POWER SURGE - The Rangers were 2-for-5 (6:48) on the power play in the contest. New York has tallied a power play goal in each of the last three games (7-for-16; 43.8%), including two or more power play goals in each of the last two contests (6-for-12; 50.0%).
SPECIAL TEAMS - New York has outscored its opponent on special teams in 18 games this season, and the Rangers have posted a 15-3-0 record in those contests.
TWO GOOD - The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 25 of 39 games this season and have posted a 21-3-1 record in those 25 contests.
20/20 VISION - Nine Rangers have registered 20 or more points this season. Prior to 2016-17, the last season in which the Rangers had at least nine players who tallied 20 or more points through the first 39 games was 1993-94 (Messier, Leetch, Graves, Zubov, Tikkanen, Gartner, Nemchinov, Larmer, Kovalev, and Amonte).
ROAD WARRIORS - New York leads the NHL in road wins this season (13) and leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (85). The Blueshirts have earned a win in 12 of their last 16 road contests (12-4-0), including six of their last seven road games (6-1-0).
ALL-AMERICAN - All six of the Rangers' goals in tonight's game were scored by American-born players (Kreider - three; Miller - two; Vesey - one).
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE - The Blueshirts have posted a plus-38 goal differential this season (135 goals for; 97 goals against). The Rangers' plus-38 goal differential is the eighth-best mark the team has registered through their first 39 games of a season in their 90-season history.
HOW THE WEST WAS WON - The Rangers have posted a 14-4-0 record against Western Conference teams this season, including a 7-3-0 record against teams in the Central Division. New York has earned at least one win against six of seven teams in the Central Division in 2016-17.
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT - The Blueshirts have posted a 10-7-0 record in games which they have allowed the first goal of the game this season.
FINISHING THE JOB - The Rangers have posted a 16-1-0 record in games which they have held a lead entering the third period this season. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, New York has posted a 183-4-8 record when entering the third period with a lead.
SHOOTING GALLERY - New York recorded 37 shots on goal in tonight's game and outshot Colorado, 37-27, in the contest. The Blueshirts have registered 30 or more shots on goal in each of the last two games, in three of the last four contests, and in eight of the last 13 games.
KILL ZONE - New York was 3-for-3 (3:22) on the penalty kill in the contest. The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal against in eight of the last 12 games and in 19 of the last 28 contests.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH - The Rangers have earned at least one point in six of their last seven games against the Avalanche, dating back to Feb. 4, 2014 (4-1-2).
Three Stars on Broadway
Chris Kreider registered his second career NHL hat trick, tied a single-game career-high with three points, and led all skaters with six shots on goal. Kreider extended his point streak to four games, tying his career-high (six goals, two assists over the span), and he has posted a three-point game in two of the four contests. He has tallied 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in the last 15 games, including nine points (seven goals, two assists) in the last six contests. Kreider led the Rangers in goals during the 2016 calendar year (30 goals in 74 games), and he leads the Blueshirts in goals this season (15). He also leads the Rangers in multi-point games in 2016-17 (eight). Kreider is the first Ranger who has recorded at least 10 goals in one calendar month since Rick Nash in January of 2014 (11 goals). As of the conclusion of tonight's game, Kreider is tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals in December this season (11).
J.T. Millertied a single-game career-high with two goals, registered the game-winning goal, recorded three shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating. Miller has registered two goals in a game five times in his NHL career (twice this season), and he has posted four of his five career two-goal games on the road. He has recorded a goal/point in each of the last two games (three goals, one assist), and he has posted a multi-point game in each of the last two contests. In 83 regular season games during the 2016 calendar year, Miller recorded 50 points (26 goals, 24 assists). Miller is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals this season (three).
Mats Zuccarello notched two assists, recorded four shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. Zuccarello extended his assist/point streak to six games (nine assists over the span), and his six-game assist streak is a new career-high. He has registered 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in the last 14 games, and he leads the Rangers in even strength assists (17) and even strength points (23) this season. For the first time in his NHL career, Zuccarello played a game in which a Norwegian-born player was in the lineup for the opposing team (Andreas Martinsen). Zuccarello and Martinsen are the only two Norwegian-born players who have skated in an NHL game thus far this season.
Henrik Lundqvistmade 25 saves, and stopped all 17 shots he faced over the final two periods, to earn his 16th win of the season. Lundqvist earned his 390th career NHL win in tonight's contest, passing Dominik Hasek to become the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history. Lundqvist passed Hasek for sole possession of 12th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. In addition, Lundqvist made his 711th career appearance with the Rangers in tonight's contest, tying Olaf Kolzig for the fourth-most appearances by a goaltender with one franchise in NHL history. The only goaltenders in NHL history who have appeared in more career games with one franchise than Lundqvist has with the Rangers are Martin Brodeur (New Jersey), Tony Esposito (Chicago), and Terry Sawchuk (Detroit).
Alain Vigneault coached his 285th career game as the Rangers' Head Coach tonight, tying Herb Brooks for seventh place on the franchise's all-time games coached list. Vigneault also earned his 170th career win as the Rangers' Head Coach in tonight's contest, and he is one win away from tying John Tortorella for fourth place on the franchise's all-time wins list among head coaches.
Derek Stepan recorded two assists and posted a plus-one rating. Stepan has registered 20 assists in each of his first seven NHL seasons. He is the fourth Ranger in franchise history to tally 20 or more assists in each of his first seven NHL seasons (playing all seven seasons with the Rangers), joining Ron Greschner, Brad Park, and Steve Vickers as the only players to accomplish the feat. Stepan leads the Rangers in points (30; nine goals, 21 assists) and primary assists (15) this season. He has recorded 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in the last 21 games, including 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in the last 15 contests and nine points (four goals, five assists) in the last six games. In 83 regular season games during the 2016 calendar year, Stepan registered 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists), and he led the Rangers in assists and points during the calendar year.
Jimmy Vesey registered a goal and tied for the game-high with three takeaways. He has notched a point in each of the last two games (one goal, one assist), and he ranks third among NHL rookies in goals this season (11).
Ryan McDonagh tallied an assist while skating in a game-high 23:43 of ice time. McDonagh is tied for first among NHL defensemen in games with an assist this season (19). He leads the Rangers in assists (23), power play assists (eight), and power play points (nine) this season. In addition, the Rangers captain extended his assist/point streak to four games (one goal, six assists over the span), and he has tallied 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his last 11 games.
Brandon Pirrinotched a power play assist and recorded three shots on goal. He has registered a power play assist/point in each of the last two games, and he has tallied eight of his 14 points this season on the power play (four power play goals, four power play assists).
Kevin Hayes notched an assist, recorded two shots on goal, and registered two takeaways. Hayes extended his assist/point streak to three games (five assists over the span), and he has registered eight assists/points over the last 10 games. The Rangers have posted a 19-1-0 record in games which Hayes has tallied a point this season.
Michael Grabner recorded an assist, tied for the game-high with three takeaways, and registered three shots on goal. Grabner has tallied 20 points this season (14 goals, six assists), and he has reached the 20-point plateau for the fifth time in his NHL career (and for the first time since 2013-14).
Jesper Fast notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating. He has registered an assist/point in each of the last two games (two assists), and he has recorded all of his last 52 points at even strength (since Jan. 31, 2015).
Oscar Lindberg tallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating. Lindberg has recorded a point in each of his three career games against the Avalanche (two goals, one assist).