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Rangers at Blues 10.15.16 Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / New York Rangers

NEW YORK RANGERS at ST. LOUIS BLUES
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, 8:00 p.m. ET
Scottrade Center - St. Louis, MO
Rangers: 1-0-0 (2 pts)
Blues: 2-0-0 (4 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their second game of the 2016-17 season tonight, Oct. 15, against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center (8:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 1-0-0 record this season.
 
RANGERS VS. BLUES

  • All-Time: 78-42-16-1 (46-13-6-1 at home; 32-29-10-0 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tonight's game is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Blues this season, and the only meeting between the two teams in St. Louis. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers and Blues will play against each other on the following date: Nov. 1 (at MSG).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 2-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). New York outscored St. Louis, 8-4, in the season series. Dan Girardi and Mats Zuccarello tied for first among all skaters with two assists and three points in the two contests. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 2.00 GAA and a .943 SV% in the season series.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in each of their last four games against the Blues, dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season (3-0-1 record over the span).
  • Dating back to Nov. 3, 2002, 14 of 17 meetings between the Rangers and Blues have been decided by two or fewer goals. In addition, 12 of those contests have been decided by one goal or fewer. 

RANGERS-BLUES CONNECTIONS

  • Alain Vigneault played parts of two seasons with the Blues (1981-82 - 1982-83).
  • Kevin Klein and Scottie Upshall were teammates in the Predators organization for parts of three seasons (2004-05 - 2006-07).
  • Brandon Pirri and Scottie Upshall were teammates with the Panthers for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Nick Holden and Paul Stastny were teammates with the Avalanche for one season (2013-14).
  • Adam Clendening and Nail Yakupov were teammates with Edmonton for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Henrik Lundqvist and Alexander Steen were teammates with Frolunda in Sweden for five seasons (1999-00 - 2003-04). During the five-year stretch, Lundqvist and Steen were teammates in Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League (now Swedish Hockey League), as well was with Frolunda's junior team and U-18 team.
  • Adam Clendening and David Perron were traded with each other from Pittsburgh to Anaheim in 2016.
  • Kevin Shattenkirk is a native of New Rochelle, NY. 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BLUES

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 8 GP, 3-4-0, 2.48 GAA, .919 SV% - Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last three starts/appearances against St. Louis (dating back to opening night of the 2014-15 season), posting a 2.00 GAA and a .937 SV% in the three contests.
  • Rick Nash - 53 GP, 23-23-46 - Nash has registered a point in each of his last five games against the Blues, tallying nine points (three goals, six assists) in those contests.
  • Derek Stepan - 7 GP, 1-5-6 - Stepan has recorded five assists/points in his last four games against St. Louis.
  • Michael Grabner - 8 GP, 3-3-6 - Grabner has registered three points (two goals, one assist) in his last four games against the Blues.
  • Chris Kreider - 5 GP, 3-2-5 - Kreider enters the contest with a four-game point streak against St. Louis (three goals, two assists over the span).
  • Mika Zibanejad - 5 GP, 1-4-5 - Zibanejad has tallied a point in four of his five career games against the Blues.

FAST START
The Rangers have posted an 8-2-2 record in games played in October in 2015-16 and 2016-17. New York's .692 points percentage in October during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons is the fifth-best in the league over the span.
 
BROADWAY DEBUT
Seven players made their Rangers debut on Oct. 13 against the Islanders (Adam Clendening, Nick Holden, Jimmy Vesey, Michael Grabner, Brandon Pirri, Pavel Buchnevich, and Mika Zibanejad), while Vesey and Buchnevich also made their NHL debuts. Five of the seven players who made their debuts with the Rangers last night recorded at least one point (Buchnevich, Grabner, Holden, Pirri, and Zibanejad). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time five players who were making their debut with the Rangers all tallied at least one point in the same game was Oct. 5, 2005 at Philadelphia.
 
TRUE BLUE
Of the 24 players on the Rangers roster (including Oscar Lindberg, who is on injured reserve), 15 have made their NHL debut with the Rangers and have only played with the Blueshirts in their NHL career (Buchnevich, Fast, Girardi, Hayes, Kreider, Lindberg, Lundqvist, McDonagh, McIlrath, Miller, Skjei, Staal, Stepan, Vesey, and Zuccarello).
 
WINNING WAYS
The Rangers have posted the best record in the NHL since Jan. 1, 2014 (125-61-20; .655 points percentage). New York is one of three NHL teams that have earned at least 100 wins since the start of the 2014-15 season (St. Louis - 102; Washington - 101). The Rangers posted a 99-49-16 record during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The Blueshirts' 99 wins in 2014-15 and 2015-16 were the most recorded in any two-season span in franchise history.
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York ranks second in the NHL - and leads Eastern Conference teams - in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (72; 72-42-9 record in 123 road games over the span).
 
SHUTTING THE DOOR
The Blueshirts have ranked fifth or better in the NHL in goals against per game in seven of the last 11 seasons, including five of the last six seasons. The Rangers are the only NHL team that has ranked fifth or better in goals against per game in seven different seasons since 2005-06, as well as the only NHL team that has ranked fifth or better in goals against per game in five different seasons since 2010-11.
 
HIGH FIVE
Over the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), the Rangers led the NHL in both shooting percentage (8.9) and save percentage (.933) at 5-on-5 play. In addition, the Rangers led the NHL in goals (343) and goal differential (plus-77; 343-266) at 5-on-5 over the last two seasons. The Rangers led the NHL in both categories in 2015-16 (9.0 shooting percentage and .934 save percentage).
 
POINT TAKEN
The Blueshirts posted a 46-27-9 record and earned 101 points during the 2015-16 season. After earning a single-season franchise record 113 points in 2014-15, the Rangers recorded 100 or more points in at least two consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history (1970-71 - 1972-73; three consecutive seasons). In addition, New York is one of six NHL teams that earned 100 or more points in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 (along with Anaheim, Chicago, NY Islanders, St. Louis, and Washington).
  
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in regular season wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (458). Vigneault leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 regular season games coached) in points percentage in franchise history (.632).

KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist is one of three goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 30 wins in 10 different seasons (along with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy). He is the Rangers' all-time leader in several categories, including wins (375), appearances (686), shutouts (59), and save percentage (.920).
 
MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad recorded two assists, including his first assist/point as a Ranger, while making his Rangers debut on Oct. 13 against the Islanders. Last season, Zibanejad was one of 13 NHL players who recorded at least 20 goals, 35 takeaways, and a 50.0 faceoff win percentage (min. 1,000 faceoffs taken), and of the 13 players, he was only one of two who were 22 years old or younger.
 
In addition, Zibanejad was one of 11 NHL centers who logged at least 1,000 even strength minutes of ice time, 200 power play minutes of ice time, and 100 shorthanded minutes of ice time last season. Zibanejad's goals, assists, and points totals have increased in every season throughout his NHL career (2011-12 - 2015-16), and he recorded at least 20 goals in each of the last two seasons.
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider tallied two points (one goal, one assist) on Oct. 13 against the Islanders. Kreider was the only Ranger who recorded at least 20 goals in each of the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16). Last season, he led the Rangers in goals (15) and ranked second in points (26) on the road.
 
IM-PIRRI-AL
Brandon Pirri recorded two points (one goal, one assist), including his first goal, assist, and point as a Ranger, while making his debut with the team on Oct. 13 against the Islanders. Among skaters who have played at least 50 games since the start of the 2013-14 season, Pirri ranks 11th in the NHL in goals per 60 minutes of ice time (1.33).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Over the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), the Rangers have posted a 33-2-3 record in games which they have outscored their opponent on special teams.
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 1-for-5 (7:34) and recorded 12 shots on goal on Oct. 13 against the Islanders.
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) and allowed three shots on goal on Oct. 13 against the Islanders.
The Blueshirts have posted an 18-2-2 record in the last 22 games in which they did not allow a power play goal against, dating back to Dec. 22, 2015 vs. Anaheim.
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Michael Grabner - 2 games away from 400 in his NHL career
  • J.T. Miller - 3 games away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
  • Derek Stepan - 6 assists away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
  • Rick Nash - 7 goals away from 400 in his NHL career 

INJURIES (2 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Oscar Lindberg (hip surgery) - placed on IR
  • Kevin Klein (injured) - day-to-day 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Oct. 14, 1979 - Rod Gilbert became the first Ranger to have his number retired.
  • Oct. 15, 1993 - Glenn Healy became the first goaltender in franchise history to earn a win in each of his first four appearances with the team.
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