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Rangers at Penguins 11.21.16: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
 
Rangers: 13-5-1 (27 pts)
Penguins: 11-4-3 (25 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 20th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Tonight's game is also the first of a home-and-home set between the Rangers and Penguins, as the two teams will face each other on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Madison Square Garden. All of the Blueshirts' next eight games (including tomorrow's game) are against Eastern Conference opponents, and six of the eight games are against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Rangers have won 12 of their last 17 games (12-4-1), including 11 of their last 15 games (11-3-1) and eight of their last 11 games (8-2-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 13-5-1 record this season.
 
RANGERS VS. PENGUINS

  • All-Time: 124-107-23-12 (69-51-9-5 at home; 55-56-14-7 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of five meetings between the Rangers and Penguins, and the first of two meetings between the two teams in Pittsburgh. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Penguins will play against each other on the following dates: Nov. 23 (at MSG), Dec. 20 (at Pittsburgh), Mar. 31 (at MSG), Apr. 9 (at MSG).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 1-2-1 record (0-1-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). Jesper Fast led the Rangers with four points (one goal, three assists) in four games, while Derek Stepan tallied three assists in the season series. Chris Kreider tied for the team lead with two goals.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in 11 of their last 14 games against the Penguins, dating back to Apr. 3, 2013 (7-3-4).

RANGERS-PENGUINS CONNECTIONS

  • Glen Sather played parts of two seasons with the Penguins (1969-70 - 1970-71).
  • Mike Sullivan served as an Assistant Coach with the Rangers for four seasons (2009-10 - 2012-13). Sullivan was also selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (69th overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Adam Clendening played nine games with Pittsburgh during the 2015-16 season.
  • Carl Hagelin played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2011-12 - 2014-15).
  • Matt Cullen played one season with the Blueshirts (2006-07).
  • Marc Staal and Matt Murray are both natives of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • 90TH SEASON NOTE - Brian Leetch became the first defenseman in Rangers history to tally five assists in one game on Apr. 18, 1995 against Pittsburgh.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. PENGUINS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 59 GP, 29-21-9, 2.42 GAA, .916 SV%, 4 SO - Lundqvist's 59 career regular season appearances against the Penguins are the most he has made against one opponent in his career.
  • Antti Raanta - 1 GP, 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV% - Raanta has appeared in one regular season game against Pittsburgh in his career, stopping all three shots he faced in a relief appearance on Mar. 3, 2016.
  • Rick Nash - 24 GP, 11-8-19 - Nash has tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last six regular season games against Pittsburgh. Including playoff games, Nash has recorded 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his last 16 contests against the Penguins.

 
LUCKY 13
The Rangers earned 13 wins in their first 17 games of the 2016-17 season. New York's 13 wins in its first 17 games this season were tied for the most the team has earned in the first 17 games of one season in franchise history. In addition, the Rangers earned 13 wins in their first 17 games and recorded all of the 13 wins in regulation for the first time in their 90-season history.
 
BACK-TO-BACK
In their last 85 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 56-23-6 record in the second game of the set. New York has posted a 3-0-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set in 2016-17.
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have registered 76 goals through the first 19 games of the 2016-17 season. New York has recorded at least 76 goals in the first 19 contests of a season for the first time since 1990-91. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals per game this season (4.00).
 
HIGH FIVE
The Rangers have tallied five or more goals in nine of the first 19 games in one season for the third time in franchise history (also in 1971-72 and 1972-73). New York is the first NHL team to tally five or more goals in nine of its first 18 games of a season since Buffalo in 2006-07.
 
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
The Rangers lead the NHL in goal differential this season (plus-31; 76 goals for, 45 goals against). The Rangers' plus-31 goal differential through 19 games this season is tied for the second-best goal differential the team has posted through the first 19 games of any season in franchise history (1971-72 - plus-47; 1990-91 - plus-31).
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York leads the NHL in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (77). The Rangers have won four of their last five road games (4-1-0) and five of their last seven road contests (5-2-0). The Blueshirts have outscored their opponents, 29-18, in eight road games in 2016-17.
 
TOP TEN
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has 14 players who have tallied 10 or more points thus far this season.
 
ON POINT
Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei have both tallied 11 assists through the first 19 games of the season. Two Rangers defensemen have recorded 11 or more assists within the first 19 games of a season for the first time since 1993-94 (Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov). In addition, three Rangers defensemen (McDonagh, Skjei, and Nick Holden) have recorded eight or more assists within the first 19 games of a season for the first time since 1996-97 (Leetch, Bruce Driver, and Alexander Karpovtsev).
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (470).
 
UP FOR GRABS
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Michael Grabner is the first Ranger who has tallied 11 or more even strength goals in the team's first 18 games of one season since Rod Gilbert in 1971-72. Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (11) and plus/minus rating (plus-17), and he is tied for third in the NHL in goals (11) this season.
 
RAISE THE ANTTI
Antti Raanta has posted a 3-0-0 record, along with a 1.55 GAA and a .954 SV% in his last four appearances. He has started the second half of a back-to-back set for the Blueshirts 11 times since joining the team prior to the start of last season. In those 11 contests, Raanta has posted a 7-3-1 record, along with a 2.11 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 1 SO. Raanta has made 30 or more saves in three of his five appearances in 2016-17, and he has posted a 14-1-1 record, along with a 1.56 GAA, a .956 SV%, and 2 SO in 16 career appearances in which he has made at least 30 saves. The Rangers have tallied 80 goals in Raanta's 23 starts as a member of the team (3.48 goals per game in those contests), including 24 goals in his five starts this season (4.80 goals per game).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist is one of 10 goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 350 career wins and 60 career shutouts. Lundqvist appeared in his 700th career NHL game on Nov. 20 vs. Florida, becoming the fifth goaltender in NHL history to appear in at least 700 games with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD; Esposito - CHI; Sawchuk - DET; Kolzig - WSH).
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has recorded a point in 12 of the Rangers' 13 wins in 2016-17, and the Blueshirts have posted a 12-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a point this season. He has registered 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in the last 15 games, and he leads the team in points this season (17).
  
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei leads NHL rookies in assists this season (11), and he has tallied 10 assists/points in the last 14 games. He is tied for third among NHL defensemen in assists this season.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh is tied for third among NHL defensemen in assists this season (11). He has led the Rangers in ice time in each of the first 19 games in 2016-17. McDonagh is one of 11 NHL players who have averaged at least 18:00 of even strength ice time per game, 3:00 of power play ice time per game, and 2:00 of shorthanded ice time per game this season. The Rangers have earned at least one point in 26 of the last 27 regular season games in which McDonagh has logged 25:00 or more of ice time, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014 (23-1-3 record in those contests).
 
WELCOME MATS
Since the start of the 2013-14 season, 147 of Mats Zuccarello's 183 points have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal (80.3% of his points have been primary points).
  
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-3 (5:30) tonight vs. Florida.
  • The Blueshirts rank seventh in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (22.0%; 13-for-59).
  • New York has recorded a power play goal in eight of the last 15 games and in 10 of 19 games in 2016-17.

 
Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-4 (7:19) tonight vs. Florida.
  • The Blueshirts rank ninth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (84.9%; 45-for-53).
  • The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal against in six of the last eight games. The Blueshirts have killed off 22 of their opponents' last 24 power play opportunities (over a nine-game stretch), dating back to Nov. 3 vs. Edmonton (91.7% over the span).
  • New York is tied for fifth in the NHL in shorthanded goals this season (two).

 
UPCOMING MILESTONES
Kevin Hayes - 3 points away from 100 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
 
INJURIES (37 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) - has missed four games
  • Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula)

 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Nov. 14 - Recalled Cristoval Nieves from Hartford (AHL)
  • Nov. 17 - Assigned Cristoval Nieves to Hartford (AHL)

 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Nov. 21, 1971 - The Rangers established a single-game franchise record by registering 12 goals in a 12-1 win against the California Golden Seals at MSG.
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