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Rangers at Hurricanes 3.8.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at CAROLINA HURRICANES
Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
 
Rangers: 43-22-2 (88 pts)
Hurricanes: 26-27-10 (62 pts)
  
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 68th game of the 2016-17 season tonight, Mar. 9, against the Carolina Hurricanes in a Metropolitan Division matchup at PNC Arena (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Rangers continue a stretch of four consecutive road games tomorrow. The Blueshirts have won 12 of their last 17 games (12-4-1), as well as 15 of their last 22 contests (15-6-1). The Rangers have posted a 43-22-2 record this season.

RANGERS VS. HURRICANES

  • All-Time*: 75-51-7-2 (46-17-4-2 at home; 29-34-3-0 on the road) *Note: All-Time record includes games against the Hartford Whalers from 1979-80 - 1996-97
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the fourth of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes, and the second of two meetings between the two teams at Carolina. The Rangers have posted a 2-1-0 record (2-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), and the Blueshirts defeated the Hurricanes, 4-2, in the last meeting between the two teams on Dec. 3 at MSG. Mats Zuccarello leads all skaters with four points (two goals, two assists) in the season series, and Derek Stepan has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in three contests.
  • The Rangers have won 21 of their last 24 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (21-3-0). New York has also won 11 of its last 13 games against Carolina, dating back to Apr. 8, 2014 (11-2-0).

RANGERS-HURRICANES CONNECTIONS

  • Marc Staal and Jordan Staal are brothers. Marc and Jordan, along with their brother, Eric, are the only trio of brothers in the history of the NHL, NFL, MLB, or NBA who were all selected 12th overall or higher in the Draft.
  • Lee Stempniak played with the Rangers for part of one season (2014-15).
  • The Rangers selected Jesper Fast in the sixth round (157th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The Blueshirts acquired the 157th overall pick in a trade with the Hurricanes.
  • Brett Pesce is a native of Tarrytown, NY.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. HURRICANES

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 37 GP, 25-11-1, 2.11 GAA, .926 SV%, 2 SO - In his last 19 appearances against Carolina (dating back to Feb. 22, 2011), Lundqvist has posted a 16-3-0 record, along with a 1.81 GAA, a .939 SV%, and 1 SO.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 22 GP, 5-17-22 - Zuccarello has registered a point in 14 of his last 16 games against Carolina, dating back to Nov. 2, 2013 (four goals, 14 assists over the span).
  • Derek Stepan - 25 GP, 9-14-23 - Stepan has tallied 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in his last 17 games against the Hurricanes.
  • Rick Nash - 27 GP, 9-8-17 - Nash has registered a goal/point in four of his last nine games against Carolina (four goals, two assists).
  • Ryan McDonagh - 24 GP, 5-9-14 - McDonagh has recorded a point in seven of his last 11 games against the Hurricanes (three goals, four assists).

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 43 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most the team has earned through the first 67 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have registered at least 43 wins in their first 67 games of a season five times in franchise history, and the only season in which the Rangers earned more than 43 wins through the first 67 games was 1971-72 (45). The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in wins this season. The Rangers lead the NHL in wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (187), and the Rangers' 187 wins are the most earned in any four-season span in franchise history. New York's 43 wins this season are tied for the 12th-most in one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 13 of 17 games since Feb. 1 (12-4-1) and are tied for the NHL lead in wins over the span.
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York leads the NHL in road wins this season (24) and also leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (96). The Rangers have won each of their last five road games and have outscored their opponents, 14-7, over the span. In addition, the Rangers have won nine of their last 10 road contests (9-1-0) and 17 of their last 20 road games (17-3-0). The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in eight of their last 10 road games (16 goals against over the span; 1.60 goals against per game). The Rangers' 24 road wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most the team has recorded in one season in franchise history. The only seasons in which New York earned more than 24 wins on the road were 2014-15 (28) and 2013-14 (25).
 
ONE AND WON
Since Jan. 7, 15 of the Rangers' 26 games have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have earned at least one point in each of the last 12 games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 (11-0-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 20-7-2 record in one-goal games this season and rank second in the NHL in winning percentage in one-goal games in 2016-17 (.690).
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 14 of the last 22 games and in 40 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 34-4-2 record in those 40 contests in 2016-17.
 
ON POINT
Blueshirts defensemen have tallied 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) over the last 13 games and a Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in seven of the 13 contests. Six different defensemen have recorded a goal over the span (Klein, Girardi, Holden, McDonagh, Clendening, and Skjei). A Rangers defenseman has notched a point on 12 of the team's last 16 goals. Three Rangers defensemen have tallied at least 30 points this season (McDonagh, Skjei, and Holden). Prior to this season, the last time three Blueshirts defensemen recorded 30 or more points in the same season was 1996-97 (Leetch, Karpovtsev, and Driver). The Rangers are one of three NHL teams that have three defensemen who have recorded 30 or more points this season (along with Nashville and St. Louis).
 
SAVING THE DAY
Over the last two games, Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta have combined to post a .976 SV% (81 saves on 83 shots), including a .983 SV% at even strength (58 saves on 59 shots).
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have tallied four or more goals in 30 games this season. The Blueshirts are one of three NHL teams that have registered at least four goals in 30 or more contests in 2016-17 (along with Pittsburgh and Washington). In addition, New York is tied for the NHL lead in games with five or more goals this season (18 - tied with Minnesota), and the Rangers have tallied at least five goals in 18 or more games in a season for the first time since 2005-06.
 
AV SQUAD
Since Alain Vigneault was named the Rangers' Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blueshirts lead the NHL in wins (187). Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (500).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 30th win of the 2016-17 season and his 404th career NHL win on Mar. 7 at Florida. He is the first goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 30 wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons, and he is only the third goaltender in NHL history who has registered 30 or more wins in at least 11 different seasons (Brodeur - 14; Roy - 13). By earning his 404th career NHL win, Lundqvist passed Grant Fuhr for sole possession of 10th place on the league's all-time wins list, and he is three wins away from tying Glenn Hall for ninth place on the NHL's all-time wins list. In addition, Lundqvist passed Martin Brodeur for the most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons in NHL history. Lundqvist has posted a 12-5-1 record, along with a 2.26 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 19 appearances. He has made at least 30 saves in 19 games this season, and he has posted a 16-3-0 record, along with a 1.98 GAA, a .945 SV%, and 1 SO in games which he has made at least 30 saves in 2016-17.
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei has registered 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) and a plus-13 rating in the last 22 games (since Jan. 19), and he is the only NHL defenseman who has recorded at least 15 points and a plus-13 rating over the span. He has also notched 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in the last 18 games, including 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in the last 16 games. Skjei is the first Ranger who has tallied at least 29 assists in his rookie season since Tony Amonte in 1991-92, as well as the first Rangers defenseman who has registered at least 29 assists in his rookie season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. In addition, Skjei is the first Rangers defenseman who has tallied at least 25 even strength assists in one season since Leetch in 2000-01.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh is one of five NHL defensemen who have registered at least 20 primary assists in 2016-17. McDonagh leads Rangers defensemen in assists (32), points (35), and plus/minus rating (plus-18) this season. In addition, the Rangers captain is tied for the NHL lead in games with a plus/minus rating of even or better in 2016-17 (56).
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-4 (8:00) on Mar. 7 at Florida.

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 4-for-5 (9:29) on Mar. 7 at Florida.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (eight).
  • The Rangers are 13-for-14 on the penalty kill over the last four games (92.9%), including 10-for-11 over the last two contests (90.9%).
  • New York ranks fifth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency on the road this season (85.7%; 78-for-91). 

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Brandon Pirri - 2 points away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Brendan Smith - 5 games away from 300 in his NHL career 

INJURIES (160 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Kevin Klein (back spasms) - has missed eight games
  • Dan Girardi (ankle) - has missed five games
  • Jesper Fast (upper-body) - has missed four games
  • Michael Grabner (hip) - has missed four games

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Mar. 8 - Agreed to terms with Sean Day on an entry-level contract
  • Mar. 5 - Recalled Tanner Glass and Steven Kampfer from Hartford (AHL)
  • Mar. 2 - Recalled Pavel Buchnevich from Hartford (AHL)

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Mar. 8, 1995 - Steve Larmer registered four points (one goal, three assists), including his 1,000th career NHL point, and recorded the game-winning goal with 1:14 remaining in regulation as the Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 6-4, at MSG.
  • Mar. 9, 1977 - The Rangers held "Rod Gilbert Night" at MSG.
  • Mar. 9, 1996 - Brian Leetch registered his 432nd career assist with the Rangers, passing Ron Greschner to become the Rangers' all-time leader in assists by a defenseman.
  • Mar. 9, 2014 - Henrik Lundqvist earned his 300th career NHL win and tied Ed Giacomin's franchise record for shutouts by earning his 49th career shutout with the Rangers in a 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings at MSG.
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