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Rangers at Canadiens (Game 1): Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
Rangers: 48-28-6 (102 pts)*
Canadiens: 47-26-9 (103 pts)*
* Records are from the 2016-17 regular season
The Rangers play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, Apr. 12, at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts concluded the 2016-17 regular season with a 48-28-6 record (102 points).

The Rangers are facing the Canadiens in a playoff series for the 16th time in franchise history. New York has won eight of 15 all-time playoff series against Montreal. The Blueshirts have played more playoff series and have won more playoff series against Montreal than against any other NHL opponent in franchise history. The two teams are meeting in a playoff series for the first time since the Eastern Conference Final in 2014, when the Rangers defeated the Canadiens, four games to two.

  • Ryan McDonagh was selected by Montreal in the first round (12th overall) of the 2007 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).
  • Mats Zuccarello and Andreas Martinsen are the only two Norwegian-born players who are currently in the NHL. Zuccarello and Martinsen have been teammates with Team Norway in several international tournaments.
  • 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).
  • Al Montoya was selected by the Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
  • Max Pacioretty is a native of New Canaan, Connecticut, and he was a Rangers fan growing up.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CANADIENS (Statistics are only from playoff games)

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 6 GP, 4-1, 2.15 GAA, .922 SV%, 1 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in five of his six career playoff appearances against Montreal.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 6 GP, 2-8-10 - McDonagh tallied a point in five of six games against Montreal in the Eastern Conference Final in 2014 (including three multi-point games), and he tied a single-game playoff franchise record for defensemen by tallying four points in Game 1 of the series. McDonagh became the first Rangers defenseman to register at least 10 points in one playoff series since Brian Leetch in the Stanley Cup Final in 1994. He also posted a multi-point game in each of the Rangers' three contests on the road in Montreal.
  • Chris Kreider - 6 GP, 3-5-8 - Kreider has registered seven points (two goals, five assists) in three career playoff games on the road against the Canadiens.
  • Mika Zibanejad - 11 GP, 2-6-8 - Zibanejad has played 11 of his 16 career NHL playoff games against Montreal. He has recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in six career playoff games in Montreal. 

The Rangers have won five of their last six playoff games against the Canadiens on the road in Montreal, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996. New York has won each of its last two playoff series against the Canadiens. 
New York posted a 27-12-2 record on the road in 2016-17 and led the NHL in road wins this season. The Rangers' 27 road wins in 2016-17 were the second-most in one season in franchise history, and the only season in which the Blueshirts earned more than 27 road wins was 2014-15 (28). The Rangers' 27 road wins this season were also tied for the fifth-most any NHL team has earned in one season in league history.
The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (81). In addition, the Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (40) and playoff series wins (eight) over the span. New York has won at least one playoff series in four of the last five years.
The Rangers have won Game 1 of a playoff series in five of their eight series since the start of the 2014 Playoffs.
The Blueshirts are one of three NHL teams that have made the playoffs in every season since 2010-11 (Chicago and Pittsburgh) and are one of four NHL teams that have made the playoffs 11 times in 12 seasons since 2005-06 (Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Jose).
The Rangers' 48 wins during the regular season in 2016-17 were tied for the sixth-most in one season in franchise history (New York also earned 48 wins in 1971-72).
The Blueshirts ranked fourth in the NHL in goals per game in 2016-17 (3.09). The Rangers tallied 256 goals this season, recording at least 256 goals in one season for the first time since 2005-06 (257).
Four players currently on the Rangers roster rank among the top seven players in franchise history in career playoff games played (among skaters): Dan Girardi (first - 110), Marc Staal (third - 92), Derek Stepan (tied for fourth - 85), Ryan McDonagh (tied for sixth - 84). In addition, Henrik Lundqvist leads all players (skaters or goaltenders) in career playoff appearances with the Rangers in franchise history (116). Staal is one game away from tying Walt Tkaczuk for second place on the Rangers' all-time playoff games played list (among skaters).
Rangers defensemen recorded 54 points (16 goals, 38 assists) in the final 28 games of the regular season, and a Rangers defenseman tallied a goal in 14 of the 28 contests over the span. Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei ranked first and second among team defensemen, respectively, in points this season (McDonagh - 42; Skjei - 39). In 2016-17, two Rangers defensemen tallied at least 39 points in the same season for the first time since 1993-94 (Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov).
Alain Vigneault is one of three head coaches in Rangers history who have guided the team to the playoffs in at least four consecutive seasons (Lester Patrick and Emile Francis). Entering this season, Vigneault was tied for second among NHL head coaches in playoff series coached (20) and playoff games coached (117) since 2007. The only NHL head coaches who have coached in as many playoff series and games over the span are Joel Quenneville and Mike Babcock. He will coach his 50th playoff game with the Rangers in Game 1 against Montreal, becoming the third head coach in franchise history to coach at least 50 playoff games (Patrick and Francis).
Entering the playoffs this year, Henrik Lundqvist leads all active NHL goaltenders in career playoff appearances (116) and career playoff wins (55), and he is tied for first among active NHL goaltenders in career playoff shutouts (nine). Lundqvist has started 115 consecutive playoff games, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against New Jersey in 2006. Lundqvist is one of three goaltenders in NHL history who have started at least 100 consecutive playoff games with one franchise (Brodeur - New Jersey; Roy - Colorado).
Ryan McDonagh was selected as the Rangers' MVP this season, becoming the third defenseman to win the award at least twice (along with Brian Leetch and Barry Beck). The Rangers captain established a career-high in assists this season (36), and he was one of six NHL defensemen who recorded at least 40 points and a plus-20 rating in 2016-17.
Mats Zuccarello led the Rangers in several categories during the 2016-17 season, including assists (44) and points (59). Zuccarello received the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in 2016-17, becoming the third Rangers player to win the award at least three times since it was first presented in 1987-88. He recorded 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his final 12 regular season games.
Chris Kreider established career-highs in goals (28) and points (53), and he tied his career-high in assists (25) this season. He also led the Rangers in goals and games with a goal (24) in 2016-17. Kreider was one of five NHL players who registered at least 28 goals and 130 hits this season (Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Simmonds, Joe Pavelski, and Anders Lee). Kreider ranks 10th on the Rangers' all-time playoff goals list (20), and he is tied for eighth in the NHL in playoff goals since the start of the 2012 Playoffs.
Brady Skjei recorded 39 points this season, and his 39 points were the most a Rangers defenseman tallied in his rookie season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. Skjei led NHL rookies in even strength assists in 2016-17 (27). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Skjei became the first NHL defenseman to record at least 27 even strength assists in his rookie season since Larry Murphy in 1980-81.
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-1 (0:14) on Apr. 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • The Blueshirts tallied a power play goal in four of their final six regular season games and in 10 of the final 15 regular season games. The Rangers were 13-for-38 (34.2%) on the power play over the final 15 games (since Mar. 9) and led the NHL in power play efficiency over the span.

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were not assessed a penalty on Apr. 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • New York did not allow a power play goal in four of the final five regular season games (11-for-12; 91.7%).
  • The Blueshirts tied for sixth in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (nine).

INJURIES (207 Man-Games Lost to Injury - Regular Season)

  • None


  • Apr. 11, 1937 - Dave Kerr established a franchise record by posting his fourth shutout in one playoff year. Kerr led the Rangers to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Apr. 11, 1981 - The Rangers registered 10 goals in a playoff game for the first time in franchise history and defeated Los Angeles, 10-3, in Game 3 of the Preliminary Round at MSG.
  • Apr. 12, 1928 - Filling in as an emergency replacement for goaltender Lorne Chabot, Joe Miller posted a shutout to help the Rangers stave off elimination and defeat the Montreal Maroons, 1-0, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Apr. 12, 1979 - Phil Esposito registered two goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Rangers eliminated Los Angeles from the playoffs with a 2-1 win in Game 2 of the Preliminary Round.
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