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Rangers at Bruins 3.2.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at BOSTON BRUINS
Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
TD Garden - Boston, MA
 
Rangers: 40-21-2 (82 pts)
Bruins: 33-24-6 (72 pts)
 
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 64th game of the 2016-17 season tonight, Mar. 2, against the Boston Bruins in an Original Six matchup at TD Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have won nine of their last 13 games (9-3-1), as well as 12 of their last 18 contests (12-5-1). The Rangers have posted a 40-21-2 record this season.
 

RANGERS VS. BRUINS

  • All-Time: 254-289-97-2 (147-121-55-0 at home; 107-168-42-2 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the third of three meetings between the Rangers and Bruins, and the second of two meetings between the two teams in Boston. The Rangers have posted a 2-0-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road), and defeated the Bruins, 5-2, in the last meeting between the two teams on Nov. 5 in Boston. The Blueshirts have outscored Boston, 10-4, in two games during the season series. Derek Stepan leads all skaters with four assists and five points in the two contests, while Jimmy Vesey has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in the season series.
  • The Rangers have played more regular season games (642) and have earned more regular season wins (254) against the Bruins than against any other opponent in their 90-season history.
  • Since Mar. 24, 2007, 24 of the 35 meetings between the Rangers and Bruins have been decided by one goal, and eight of those contests have been decided in either overtime or a shootout. In addition, 29 of the 35 games over the span have been decided by two or fewer goals.

RANGERS-BRUINS CONNECTIONS

  • Dominic Moore played parts of five seasons with the Rangers (2003-04 - 2005-06; 2013-14 - 2015-16).
  • Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Hayes are brothers. The two have played against each other in seven NHL games, and the Rangers have won six of the seven contests.
  • The Rangers have three Massachusetts natives on their roster: Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, MA), Chris Kreider (Boxford, MA), and Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, MA). All three played college hockey in Massachusetts (Hayes and Kreider played at Boston College and Vesey played at Harvard University).
  • Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, and Jimmy Hayes were all teammates at Boston College for one season (2010-11). Kreider and Jimmy Hayes were teammates for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) and helped the Eagles win the National Championship in 2009-10.
  • Adam Clendening played college hockey at Boston University for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12). 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. BRUINS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 38 GP, 24-12-2, 1.95 GAA, .935 SV%, 6 SO - Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last three appearances against Boston, posting a 1.67 GAA and a .951 SV% (98 saves on 103 shots) over the span.
  • Derek Stepan - 21 GP, 7-12-19 - Stepan has posted a multi-assist/point game in each of his last three contests against the Bruins, recording eight points (two goals, six assists) over the span. In addition, Stepan has registered 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his last eight games against Boston.
  • Rick Nash - 23 GP, 8-7-15 - Nash has tallied a goal/point in five of the last seven contests against Boston (five goals, two assists).
  • Mika Zibanejad - 20 GP, 6-4-10 - Zibanejad has notched a point in six of his last seven games against Boston (four goals, two assists over the span).
  • J.T. Miller - 9 GP, 3-4-7 - Miller has recorded a point in four of his last six games against the Bruins, registering six points (two goals, four assists) over the span. 

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 40 wins in 2016-17 are the fifth-most the team has earned through the first 63 games of one season in franchise history, and the only seasons in which the Blueshirts earned more than 40 wins through 63 games of a season were 1971-72 (42), 1972-73 (41), 1993-94 (41), and 2011-12 (41). The Rangers rank third in the NHL in wins this season.
 
40/40 CLUB
The Rangers earned their 40th win of the 2016-17 season on Feb. 25 at New Jersey. The Blueshirts have registered at least 40 wins in each of the last four seasons (since 2013-14), in six of the last seven seasons (since 2010-11), and in 10 of the last 12 seasons (since 2005-06).
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York leads the NHL in road wins this season (21) and also leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (93). The Blueshirts have won 10 of their last 12 road games (10-2-0). The Rangers have also earned a win in 20 of their last 26 road contests (20-6-0), including 14 of their last 17 road games (14-3-0).
 
BOUNCE BACK
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 33-9-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 16-5-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17.
 
ONE AND WON
Since Jan. 7, 13 of the Rangers' 22 games have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have earned at least one point in each of the last 10 games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 (9-0-1). The Blueshirts have posted an 18-7-2 record in one-goal games this season and rank second in the NHL in winning percentage in one-goal games in 2016-17 (.667).
 
ON POINT
Blueshirts defensemen have tallied 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) over the last nine games and a Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in six of the nine contests. In addition, six different defensemen have recorded a goal over the span (Klein, Girardi, Holden, McDonagh, Clendening, and Skjei).
 
THIRD PERIOD TALLIES
The Blueshirts lead the NHL in third period goals in 2016-17 (84). The Rangers' 84 goals in the third period are the most a team has registered in any period this season.
 
STAYING DISCIPLINED
New York has recorded the third-fewest penalty minutes in the NHL this season (433). The Rangers have been shorthanded three times or fewer in each of the last seven games and in 18 of the last 20 contests.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 400th career NHL win on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, becoming the 12th goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 career wins, as well as the first goaltender to earn 400 wins with the Rangers. Lundqvist, who earned his 400th career NHL win in his 727th career NHL appearance, became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to accomplish the feat. He also became the second goaltender in NHL history to earn all of his first 400 career wins with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD). Lundqvist has posted a 10-4-1 record, along with a 2.25 GAA, a .928 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 16 appearances.
 
Lundqvist enters the contest with 28 wins this season and 402 wins in his NHL career. He is two wins away from...

  • passing Grant Fuhr for sole possession of 10th place on the NHL's all-time wins list
  • passing Martin Brodeur for the most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons in NHL history
  • becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to earn 30 or more wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons, and the third goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 30 wins in 11 or more seasons (along with Brodeur and Patrick Roy). 

SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei has registered 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) and a plus-12 rating in the last 18 games (since Jan. 19), and he is the only NHL defenseman who has recorded at least 12 points and a plus-12 rating over the span. He has also notched 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in the last 14 games, including nine points (one goal, eight assists) in the last 12 games. Skjei has tallied 23 even strength assists this season, becoming the first Rangers defenseman to tally at least 20 even strength assists in his rookie season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89.
 
MR. SMITH GOES TO NEW YORK
The Rangers acquired defenseman Brendan Smith from the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 28. Smith was the only Red Wings defenseman who averaged at least 15:00 of even strength ice time, 1:00 of power play ice time, and 1:00 of penalty kill ice time this season prior to being acquired by the Blueshirts. Smith, who played college hockey at the University of Wisconsin with Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2009-10.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has registered a point in 19 of the last 26 games, tallying 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) over the span. He has established career-highs in assists (29), points (48), and game-winning goals (six) in 2016-17.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner ranks second in the NHL in even strength goals (25), ranks ninth in plus/minus rating (plus-27), and is tied for 12th in goals (26) this season. Grabner has skated in 104:42 of ice time while shorthanded this season, and the Rangers have only allowed five power play goals against while he has been on the ice in 2016-17.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-4 (8:00) on Feb. 28 vs. Washington. 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:44) on Feb. 28 vs. Washington.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in SHG in 2016-17 (eight).

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Brandon Pirri - 2 points away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Derek Stepan - 3 games away from 500 in his NHL career/as a Ranger

INJURIES (144 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Kevin Klein (back spasms) - has missed four games
  • Dan Girardi (ankle) - has missed one game
  • Mika Zibanejad (upper-body) - has missed one game
  • Jesper Fast (upper-body) - out 2-3 weeks

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Mar. 1 - Assigned Steven Kampfer to Hartford (AHL); Acquired Taylor Beck from Edmonton in exchange for Justin Fontaine
  • Feb. 28 - Recalled Steven Kampfer from Hartford (AHL); Acquired Brendan Smith from Detroit in exchange for a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft; Acquired Daniel Catenacci from Buffalo in exchange for Mat Bodie; Assigned Pavel Buchnevich to Hartford (AHL) 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Mar. 1, 1989 - Tony Granato registered the 35th goal of his rookie season as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-4, at MSG.
  • Mar. 2, 1975 - Rod Gilbert tied a single-game franchise record by tallying five assists.
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