NEW YORK RANGERS at MONTREAL CANADIENS
Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
The Rangers play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, Apr. 20, at Bell Centre (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece, following the Rangers' 2-1 win in Game 4 of the series at MSG.
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.
- 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).
- 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 Team USA 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 - 10 GP, 6-3, 2.04 GAA, .932 SV%, 2 SO - In his last five playoff games against the Canadiens (since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2014), Lundqvist has posted a 3-2 record, along with a 1.53 GAA, a .950 SV%, and 2 SO.
- Ryan McDonagh - 10 GP, 2-9-11 - McDonagh has tallied a point in six of 10 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.
- Mika Zibanejad - 15 GP, 2-7-9 - Zibanejad has played 15 of his 20 career NHL playoff games against the Canadiens. He has tallied seven points (one goal, six assists) in eight career playoff games on the road in Montreal.
- Rick Nash - 10 GP, 5-2-7 - Nash has recorded a goal/point in five of 10 career playoff games against Montreal.
SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
Since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, seven of the 14 playoff series the Rangers have played have been tied at two games apiece through the first four games (including the First Round against Montreal in 2017). The Blueshirts have posted a 4-2 series record in series which were tied at two games apiece over the span.
The Rangers have posted a 10-5 record in their last 15 contests which were Games 5-7 of a playoff series, dating back to Game 7 of the First Round against Philadelphia in 2014.
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 (including the First Round against Montreal in 2014), dating back to the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa in 2012.
The Rangers have earned at least two wins in 11 of 14 playoff series since the start of the 2012 Playoffs and in 15 of 20 playoff series since the start of the 2007 Playoffs.
New York has won 10 of its last 14 playoff games against Montreal, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1996.
The Blueshirts were credited with 74 hits in Game 2 at Montreal. The Rangers' 74 hits were the most the team has recorded in a playoff game since hits were tracked by the NHL in 1997-98. The Rangers lead the NHL in hits in the playoffs this year (203).
The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (85). In addition, the Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (42) and playoff series wins (eight) over the span. New York has won at least one playoff series in four of the last five years.
PLAYING THE GAME
Four players currently on the Rangers roster rank among the top five players in franchise history in career playoff games played (among skaters): Dan Girardi (first - 114), Marc Staal (second - 96), Derek Stepan (fourth - 89), Ryan McDonagh (fifth - 88). In addition, Henrik Lundqvist leads all players (skaters or goaltenders) in career playoff appearances with the Rangers (120).
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.
Henrik Lundqvist established a single-game playoff career-high with 54 saves in Game 2 at Montreal. Lundqvist's 54 saves were also the most he has made in any game of his NHL career (regular season or playoffs), and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 54 saves were the most a Rangers goaltender has made in a playoff game since expansion (1967-68). Lundqvist has posted a 2-2 record, along with a 1.89 GAA and a .944 SV% thus far in the playoffs this year. He leads the NHL in saves (134) and ranks fourth in the NHL in SV% in the 2017 Playoffs. Lundqvist leads all active NHL goaltenders in career playoff appearances (120), career playoff wins (57), and career playoff shutouts (10). In addition, he is the Rangers' all-time leader in playoff appearances, wins, and shutouts. Lundqvist has started 119 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).
Rick Nash has tallied a goal/point in seven of his last 12 games (dating back to the regular season), tallying seven goals over the span. He has registered 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his last 13 playoff games, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2015 against Tampa Bay. In addition, Nash has notched a point in six of his last seven playoff games on the road, registering 11 points (five goals, six assists) in those seven contests.
Jesper Fast is tied for the team lead in points (two), assists (one), plus/minus rating (plus-three), and hits (19) in the 2017 Playoffs. He has recorded a point in each of the Rangers' two wins thus far in the 2017 Playoffs.
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner has tallied a goal/point in two of the Rangers' four playoff games this year, and he is tied for third in the NHL in goals in the playoffs in 2017 (two). Grabner was one of three NHL players who registered at least 27 goals and a plus-22 rating during the regular season in 2016-17 (along with Connor McDavid and T.J. Oshie).
Ryan McDonagh was selected as the Rangers' MVP this season, becoming the third defenseman to win the award at least twice (Brian Leetch and Barry Beck). McDonagh 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. The Rangers captain recorded his 27th career playoff assist as a Ranger in Game 4 vs. Montreal, passing James Patrick for the fourth-most playoff assists by a Rangers defenseman in franchise history. The only Rangers defensemen who have tallied more career playoff assists than McDonagh are Brian Leetch, Brad Park, and Ron Greschner.
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 ranks 10th on the Rangers' all-time playoff goals list (20), and he is tied for 10th in the NHL in playoff goals since the start of the 2012 Playoffs. Kreider is expected to skate in his 70th career playoff game with the Rangers in Game 5 at Montreal. He would become the 13th skater (and 15th player) to appear in at least 70 playoff games with the Rangers in franchise history, and he would tie Mark Messier and Jeff Beukeboom for 11th place on the franchise's all-time playoff games played list (among skaters).
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei tallied his first career NHL playoff goal in Game 3 vs. Montreal. He 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.
- The Rangers were 0-for-2 (2:34) in Game 4 vs. Montreal.
- The Blueshirts 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.
- The Rangers were 3-for-3 (4:34) in Game 4 vs. Montreal.
- Dating back to the regular season, New York has not allowed a power play goal against in seven of its last nine games (22-for-25; 88.0%).
- 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)
Apr. 16 - Recalled Magnus Hellberg from Hartford (AHL)
Apr. 14 - Agreed to terms with Steven Kampfer on a new contract
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Apr. 19, 1990 - Bernie Nicholls registered a hat trick and added an assist as the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 7-3, in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Finals at MSG.
- Apr. 19, 2013 - Brad Richards tallied his first career NHL hat trick and the Rangers established a franchise record for the fastest five goals scored by recording five goals in a span of 2:58. The Blueshirts defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 8-4.
- Apr. 20, 1950 - Don Raleigh registered his second overtime goal in as many games, tallying the game-winner 1:38 into the extra session as the Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
- Apr. 20, 1980 - Ron Duguay tallied a hat trick as the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, in Game 4 of the Quarterfinals at MSG.
- Apr. 20, 1997 - Wayne Gretzky registered his first playoff goal, assist, and point as a Ranger, and Mike Richter stopped all 31 shots he faced as the Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-0, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.