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Rangers at Canadiens (Game 2): Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Friday, Apr. 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
 
Rangers: 1-0
Canadiens: 0-1
 
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, Apr. 14, at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts lead the best-of-seven series, one game to none, following their 2-0 win in Game 1 in Montreal.

RANGERS VS. CANADIENS - PLAYOFF HISTORY
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.
 
RANGERS-CANADIENS CONNECTIONS

  • 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.
  • 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 - 7 GP, 5-1, 1.82 GAA, .935 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has earned a shutout in each of his last two playoff appearances against Montreal (Game 1 of the First Round in 2017 and Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2014), stopping all 49 shots he faced in 120 consecutive shutout minutes over the span. Lundqvist has posted a 3-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 1 SO in four career playoff appearances at Bell Centre.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 7 GP, 2-8-10 - McDonagh has tallied a point in five of seven career playoff games against Montreal. McDonagh registered 10 points against Montreal in the Eastern Conference Final in 2014, becoming the first Rangers defenseman to register at least 10 points in one playoff series since Brian Leetch in the Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver in 1994.
  • Chris Kreider - 7 GP, 3-5-8 - Kreider has registered seven points (two goals, five assists) in four career playoff games on the road against the Canadiens.
  • Mika Zibanejad - 12 GP, 2-6-8 - Zibanejad has played 12 of his 17 career NHL playoff games against Montreal. He has recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven career playoff games in Montreal. 

WINNING HAB-IT
The Rangers have won six of their last seven playoff games against the Canadiens on the road in Montreal, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996. The Blueshirts have also won six of seven all-time playoff games at Bell Centre. New York has won each of its last two playoff series against the Canadiens.
 
START ME UP
By earning a 2-0 win in Game 1 against Montreal, the Rangers posted a shutout in their first game of a playoff year for the first time since 1994 (Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Islanders).
 
ROAD WARRIORS
The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in playoff wins on the road since the start of the 2014 Playoffs (13). The Rangers posted a 27-12-2 record on the road during the regular season in 2016-17 and led the NHL in road wins this season. New York has earned at least one road win in 12 of its last 14 playoff series, dating back to the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2012 against Ottawa. 
 
PLAYOFF PERFORMERS
The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (82). In addition, the Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (41) and playoff series wins (eight) over the span. New York has won at least one playoff series in four of the last five years.
 
PLAYOFF BOUND
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).
 
GOALS GALORE
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).
 
PLAYING THE GAME
Four players currently on the Rangers roster rank among the top six players in franchise history in career playoff games played (among skaters): Dan Girardi (first - 111), Marc Staal (tied for second - 93), Derek Stepan (fourth - 86), Ryan McDonagh (tied for fifth - 85). In addition, Henrik Lundqvist leads all players (skaters or goaltenders) in career playoff appearances with the Rangers (117).
 
ON POINT
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).
 
AV SQUAD
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.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 31 shots he faced to earn his 10th career NHL playoff shutout in Game 1 against Montreal. Lundqvist leads all active NHL goaltenders in career playoff appearances (117), career playoff wins (56), and career playoff shutouts (10), and he is also the Rangers' all-time leader in playoff appearances, wins, and shutouts. Lundqvist has started 116 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). In the Rangers' 26 playoff wins since the start of the 2014 Playoffs, Lundqvist has posted a 1.27 GAA, a .958 SV%, and 2 SO, and he has allowed one goal or fewer in 18 of the 26 wins. He is the only goaltender who has posted a shutout thus far in the 2017 Playoffs.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
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.
 
WELCOME MATS
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.
 
KREID-ING HIGH
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.
 
SKJEI HEY KID
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.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-4 (6:00) in Game 1 at Montreal.
  • Entering the playoffs, the Blueshirts had 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 regular season games (from Mar. 9 until the end of the regular season) and led the NHL in power play efficiency over the span.

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (4:54) in Game 1 at Montreal.
  • Dating back to the regular season, New York has not allowed a power play goal against in five of its last six games (14-for-15; 93.3%).
  • The Blueshirts tied for sixth in the NHL in SHG in the regular season in 2016-17 (nine).

INJURIES (0 Man-Games Lost to Injury in Playoffs)

  • None 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Apr. 13, 1933 - The Rangers won their second Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, 1-0, in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to win the series, three games to one. Rangers captain Bill Cook registered the game-winning goal in overtime.
  • Apr. 13, 1940 - The Rangers won their third Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, in overtime in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Bryan Hextall recorded the game-winning goal in overtime.
  • Apr. 14, 1928 - The Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Montreal Maroons, 2-1, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Montreal to win the series, three games to two. Frank Boucher registered both of the Rangers' goals in the contest.
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