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Rangers at Canadiens 1.14.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
 
Rangers: 28-14-1 (57 pts)
Canadiens: 26-11-6 (58 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 44th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Jan. 14, against the Montreal Canadiens in an Original Six matchup at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York has won 11 of its last 16 games (11-5-0), including eight of its last 12 games (8-4-0) and five of its last seven games (5-2-0). The Rangers have posted a 28-14-1 record this season.

RANGERS VS. CANADIENS

  • All-Time: 194-328-94-4 (128-126-54-1 at home; 66-202-40-3 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens, and the only meeting between the two teams in Montreal. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Canadiens will play against each other on the following dates: Feb. 21 (at MSG), Mar. 4 (at MSG).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 1-2-0 record (0-1-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Chris Kreider led the Rangers with two goals and recorded three points during the season series. The Blueshirts were 3-for-13 on the power play (23.1%) and 14-for-15 on the penalty kill (93.3%) over the three contests.
  • Eight of the last 11 meetings between the Rangers and Canadiens have resulted in a shutout for one of the two teams.

RANGERS-CANADIENS CONNECTIONS

  • Ryan McDonagh was selected by Montreal in the first round (12th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Al Montoya was selected by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Alain Vigneault began his NHL head coaching career with the Canadiens in 1997-98. Vigneault served as Montreal's Head Coach for parts of four seasons (1997-98 - 2000-01).
  • Benoit Allaire served as Goaltending Coach with the Canadiens for one season (1996-97).
  • Canadiens Assistant Coach Daniel Lacroix was selected by the Rangers in the second round (31st overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft and played parts of three seasons with the Rangers (1993-94 - 1995-96). Lacroix also served as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers in 2013-14 and helped the team advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Canadiens Assistant Coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault served as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate for six seasons (Hartford Wolf Pack from 2006-07 - 2009-10; Connecticut Whale from 2010-11 - 2011-12).
  • J.T. Miller, Jimmy Vesey, and Alex Galchenyuk helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Kevin Klein and Shea Weber were teammates with Nashville for parts of nine seasons (2005-06 - 2013-14). In addition, Klein, Weber, and Alexander Radulov were all teammates with the Predators for parts of three seasons (2006-07 - 2007-08; 2011-12).
  • Antti Raanta and Andrew Shaw were teammates with the Blackhawks for parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Nick Holden and Zach Redmond were teammates with the Avalanche for parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16).
  • Adam Clendening and Phillip Danault were teammates with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL for parts of three seasons (2012-13 - 2014-15), as well as with the Blackhawks for two games during the 2014-15 season.
  • Max Pacioretty is a native of New Canaan, Connecticut, and he was a Rangers fan growing up.
  • 90TH SEASON NOTE - The Rangers have played more playoff series (15) and playoff games (67) against Montreal than against any other opponent in their 90-season history.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CANADIENS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 32 GP, 14-15-2, 2.77 GAA, .900 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last eight appearances against Montreal, dating back to Mar. 30, 2012 (2.08 GAA, .918 SV% over the span).
  • Antti Raanta - 3 GP, 2-0-0, 2.30 GAA, .926 SV% - In his only career appearance in Montreal, Raanta stopped 24 of 26 shots he faced to help the Rangers defeat the Canadiens, 5-2, on Mar. 26, 2016.
  • · Derek Stepan - 19 GP, 2-9-11 - Stepan has notched 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last 15 games against Montreal.
  • · Chris Kreider - 11 GP, 2-3-5 - Kreider has registered five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five games against the Canadiens. 

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 28 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most wins the team has earned through the first 43 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 28 wins in their first 43 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 Rangers earned more than 28 wins through the first 43 games were 1970-71 (29) and 1971-72 (29).
 
STARS ON BROADWAY
In four of the last five weeks, a Ranger has been selected as one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week (Raanta - week ending on Dec. 11; Lundqvist - week ending on Dec. 18; Kreider - week ending on Jan. 1; Grabner - week ending on Jan. 8).
 
BACK-TO-BACK
In their last 89 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 60-23-6 record in the second game of the set. New York has posted a 7-0-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set in 2016-17. In addition, the Rangers are the only NHL team that has earned a win in the second game of every back-to-back set this season.
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York leads the NHL in road wins this season (15) and leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (87). The Rangers' 87 road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season are tied for the most road wins the team has earned in any four-season span in franchise history (the Blueshirts also earned 87 road wins from 2011-12 - 2014-15). The Rangers have won each of their last four road games and have outscored their opponents, 22-11, over the four contests. The Blueshirts have earned a win in 14 of their last 18 road contests (14-4-0), including eight of their last nine road games (8-1-0).
 
BOUNCE BACK
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 29-5-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 12-1-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17.
 
WINNING ON THE WEEKEND
The Rangers have posted a 13-2-1 record in games played on either a Saturday or Sunday this season, including a 7-1-0 record in games played on a Saturday.
 
THREE'S COMPANY
The Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello line has tallied 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) over the last eight games. The three players have registered 51 points - including 19 goals - in the Rangers' 19 games since Dec. 1. 
 
GOALS GALORE
New York leads the NHL in goals (148 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and ranks second in the NHL in goals per game (3.40) this season. The Rangers have recorded 33 goals over the last eight games, registering at least four goals in six of the eight contests. The Blueshirts have also tallied five or more goals in four of the last six games.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 390th career NHL win on Dec. 31 at Colorado, passing Dominik Hasek to become the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history. Lundqvist has started both ends of a back-to-back set 77 times in his NHL career; he has posted a 49-21-7 record, along with a 2.05 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 8 SO in the second game of those back-to-back sets. Lundqvist has started 164 games in his NHL career against a goaltender who has also won the Vezina Trophy. In those 164 starts, Lundqvist has posted a 98-51-15 record, along with a 2.22 GAA, a .921 SV%, and 15 SO.
 
RAISE THE ANTTI
In 14 starts this season, Antti Raanta has posted a 10-3-0 record, along with a 2.17 GAA, a .926 SV%, and 2 SO. Since he joined the Rangers prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, Raanta has started the second game of the Rangers' back-to-back set 13 times. In those 13 games, he has posted a 9-3-1 record, along with a 1.93 GAA, a .934 SV%, and 2 SO.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner was selected as the NHL's First Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 8. He leads the NHL in even strength goals this season (19). In addition, he leads the Rangers in goals (19), even strength goals, plus/minus rating (plus-22), and even strength points (26). Grabner has tallied seven points (five goals, two assists) and a plus-eight rating over his last two road games. He has recorded each of his last 10 points, and 18 of his last 19 points, in games on the road. This season, 26 of Grabner's 27 points have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh was selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. McDonagh, who also played in the NHL All-Star Game last season, is the first Ranger who has been selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game in at least two consecutive years since Henrik Lundqvist (2009 - 2012). He ranks third among NHL defensemen in even strength assists (16), is tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in assists (24), and is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in points (26) in 2016-17.
 
STEP-AN UP
Derek Stepan is tied for the team lead in points this season (31; nine goals, 22 assists). He has recorded 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in the last 25 games, including 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in the last 19 contests and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last 10 games.
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider ranks second in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1 (13). He has recorded 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in the last eight games, and he is tied for the team lead in points this season (31; 17 goals, 14 assists).
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller enters the contest with a career-high six-game point streak (four goals, five assists). He leads the Rangers in games with a point this season (23), and he is tied for the team lead in points in 2016-17 (31; 13 goals, 18 assists).
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
The Rangers are one of 10 NHL teams that have a 20.0% power play efficiency and an 80.0% penalty kill efficiency or better in 2016-17.
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 0-for-6 (10:55) tonight vs. Toronto.
New York has tallied a PPG in four of the last seven games (8-for-26; 30.8%) and has recorded seven PPG over the last six games (7-for-22; 31.8%).
The Blueshirts are tied for seventh in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (22.1%; 29-for-131).
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 2-for-4 (4:56) tonight vs. Toronto.
New York is tied for second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (five).
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Oscar Lindberg - 3 games away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Ryan McDonagh - 4 points away from 200 in his NHL career
  • Alain Vigneault - 6 wins away from 600 in his career as an NHL head coach; 5 games away from 1,100 in his career as an NHL head coach

INJURIES (109 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula) - has missed 24 games
  • Matt Puempel (concussion symptoms) - has missed four games
  • Marc Staal (upper-body injury) - has missed three games 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Jan. 12 - Recalled Pavel Buchnevich from Hartford (AHL)
  • Jan. 7 - Assigned Nicklas Jensen to Hartford (AHL) 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Jan. 14, 1954 - Johnny Bower earned his first career NHL shutout, stopping all 39 shots he faced as the Rangers defeated the Chicago Black Hawks, 2-0.
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