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Rangers at Senators (Game 2): Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at OTTAWA SENATORS
Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ET
Canadian Tire Centre - Ottawa, ON
 
Rangers: 4-3 (0-1)*
Senators: 5-2 (1-0)*
 
* 2017 Playoffs Record (Second Round Series Record)

TODAY'S GAME
The Rangers play Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Ottawa Senators today, Apr. 29, at Canadian Tire Centre (3:00 p.m. ET - TV: NBC Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York trails the best-of-seven series, one game to none, following Ottawa's 2-1 win in Game 1 on Apr. 27. The Blueshirts advanced to the Second Round by defeating the Montreal Canadiens, four games to two, in the First Round.

RANGERS VS. SENATORS - PLAYOFF HISTORY
The Rangers are facing the Senators in a playoff series for the second time in franchise history*. The two teams played against each other in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2012, and New York defeated Ottawa, four games to three. The Rangers rallied from a three-games-to-two deficit in the series to win Game 6 in Ottawa and close out the series with a 2-1 win in Game 7 at MSG, which was the Rangers' first win in a Game 7 since the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver. Six players currently on the Rangers roster were also on the roster when the team faced Ottawa in 2012: Dan Girardi, Chris Kreider, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, and Derek Stepan. Lundqvist posted a 4-3 record, along with a 1.70 GAA, a .945 SV%, and 1 SO against Ottawa during the 2012 Playoffs. He stopped 205 of 217 shots in the series, including 26 of 27 shots he faced in Game 7, and allowed two goals or fewer in five of the seven contests. Staal and Girardi each tallied a goal in Game 7 of the series, and Girardi registered the game-winning goal in the contest. Girardi recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the seven-game series. Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the series in Ottawa on Apr. 16, 2012, which was less than a week after he signed an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Apr. 10, 2012. Kreider tallied his first goal/point in the NHL in Game 6 of the series, and the goal was the game-winning goal in the contest.
 
* The Rangers played the defunct Ottawa Senators in the playoffs in 1930 (the original Senators played in the NHL from 1917-18 - 1933-34). New York won a two-game, total-goals Quarterfinals series, 6-3.
 
RANGERS-SENATORS CONNECTIONS

  • Alain Vigneault's first coaching staff position in the NHL was as an Assistant Coach with the Senators. Vigneault joined the Senators for their first NHL season in 1992-93 and was a member of Ottawa's coaching staff for parts of four seasons (1992-93 - 1995-96).
  • Mika Zibanejad played parts of five seasons with the Senators (2011-12 - 2015-16). He established career-highs in games played (81), goals (21), assists (30), and points (51) during his final season with Ottawa in 2015-16.
  • Matt Puempel played parts of three seasons with Ottawa (2014-15 - 2016-17), and he was selected by the Senators in the first round (24th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers claimed Puempel off waivers from Ottawa on Nov. 21, 2016.
  • Derick Brassard played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2012-13 - 2015-16).
  • Viktor Stalberg played one season with the Rangers (2015-16).
  • Tom Pyatt was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Pyatt was traded by the Rangers to Montreal as part of the deal in which the Blueshirts acquired the rights to Ryan McDonagh on June 30, 2009.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Brendan Smith, and Kyle Turris were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2007-08).
  • Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Marc Methot were all teammates with the Blue Jackets for parts of five seasons (2007-08 - 2011-12). All three players were coached by Rangers Associate Coach Scott Arniel, who was the Blue Jackets Head Coach for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Dan Girardi and Marc Methot were teammates with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for part of one season (2004-05) and helped London win the Memorial Cup.
  • Alexandre Burrows was coached by Alain Vigneault for seven seasons in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks (2006-07 - 2012-13), as well as part of one season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Manitoba Moose (2005-06).
  • Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion served as an Amateur Scout with the Rangers for two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07).
  • Tanner Glass and Craig Anderson were teammates with the Panthers for parts of two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09.
  • Steven Kampfer and Chris Kelly were teammates with the Bruins for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Michael Grabner and Dion Phaneuf were teammates with the Maple Leafs for part of one season (2015-16).
  • Kevin Klein and Viktor Stalberg were teammates with the Predators for part of one season (2013-14).
  • Marc Staal and Tom Pyatt are both natives of Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

RANGERS VS. SENATORS NOTES

  • The Rangers have won 12 of their last 19 overall road games against Ottawa (regular season and playoffs).
  • All of the four meetings (regular season and playoffs) between the Rangers and Senators in 2016-17 have been decided by two or fewer goals.
  • The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in six of their last 10 overall meetings against the Senators (regular season and playoffs), dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SENATORS (Statistics are only from regular season games)

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 37 GP, 15-18-3, 2.11 GAA, .930 SV%, 1 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six regular season appearances against Ottawa (3-3-0, 1.80 GAA, .936 SV%).
  • Derek Stepan - 21 GP, 7-10-17 - Stepan has tallied nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last 10 regular season games against the Senators. He registered two goals/points in two contests against Ottawa during the regular season in 2016-17.
  • Rick Nash - 18 GP, 9-2-11 - Nash has notched eight points (six goals, two assists) in his last 12 regular season contests against Ottawa.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 18 GP, 3-7-10 - McDonagh has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in his last four regular season games against the Senators. He led the Rangers with three assists/points against Ottawa during the regular season in 2016-17.
  • Chris Kreider - 13 GP, 4-5-9 - Kreider has registered nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last 10 regular season games against Ottawa. 

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
The Rangers have won six of the last eight playoff games they have played when trailing in a series, dating back to Game 5 of the Second Round against Washington in 2015.
 
PLAYOFF PERFORMERS
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has won at least one playoff series in five different seasons over the last six seasons (since 2011-12). In addition, the Rangers have earned at least one playoff series win in a best-of-seven series in five years over a six-year span for the second time in franchise history (also accomplished the feat from 1992 - 1997). The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (88). In addition, the Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (44) and playoff series wins (nine) over the span. The only NHL team that has earned more playoff wins than the Rangers have over the span is Chicago (48), and the only NHL teams that have won more playoff series than the Rangers have over the span are Chicago and Los Angeles (the Blackhawks and Kings have each won 10 playoff series since the start of the 2012 Playoffs).
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last four games and in five of seven playoff contests in 2017. New York ranks second in the NHL in goals against per game in the playoffs this year (1.86).
 
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Three Rangers rookies have tallied a point in the playoffs this year (Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei, and Jimmy Vesey). Prior to this year, the last time three or more Rangers rookies registered a point in the same playoff year was 2008 (five - Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky, Lauri Korpikoski, and Marc Staal). 
 
ROAD WARRIORS
The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in playoff wins on the road since the start of the 2014 Playoffs (14). The Rangers led the NHL in road wins during the regular season in 2016-17 (27).
 
O, CANADA
New York is facing two Canadian-based teams in the same playoff year for the first time since 1937. The Rangers have won each of their last six playoff series against a Canadian-based team, dating back to the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver.
 
TEAM EFFORT
Through the Rangers' first seven games of the 2017 Playoffs, 19 of 20 skaters who have played at least one game have tallied a point. In addition, nine different Blueshirts have recorded a goal thus far in the playoffs this year.
 
HITTING MACHINE
The Blueshirts lead the NHL in hits in the playoffs this year (322), recording at least 30 hits in all seven games and 40 or more hits in five of the seven contests. The Rangers were credited with 285 hits in the First Round against Montreal. Since the NHL began to track hits in 1997-98, the Rangers' 285 hits in the First Round were the second-most the team has recorded in any playoff series (the most was 287 in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington in 2013).
 
WINNING ON THE WEEKEND
The Rangers have won 12 of 16 games played on a Saturday this season (regular season and playoffs combined). In addition, New York posted a 5-1-0 record in afternoon games during the regular season in 2016-17.
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault earned his sixth playoff series win as the Rangers' Head Coach in the First Round against Montreal, and he passed Emile Francis for sole possession of second place among Rangers head coaches in career playoff series wins. In addition, Vigneault has now earned more series wins in best-of-seven series than any other head coach in franchise history. The only head coach who has earned more series wins with the Rangers than Vigneault (regardless of the series format) is Lester Patrick (14). Vigneault is coaching in his 22nd playoff series since the start of the 2007 Playoffs, he has coached 124 playoff games over the span. The only NHL head coach who has coached more playoff games and more playoff series than Vigneault has since 2006-07 is Joel Quenneville (24 playoff series; 138 playoff games).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves in Game 1 at Ottawa, and stopped all 21 shots he faced in the first period of the contest. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist's 21 saves were the most he has made in one period in the playoffs in his career, and he became the first Rangers goaltender to make 21 or more saves in one period of a playoff game since Ed Giacomin made 22 saves in the first period of Game 4 of the Quarterfinals against Chicago in 1968. Lundqvist leads the NHL in saves (236), ranks second in SV% (.948), and is tied for second in GAA (1.75) in the 2017 Playoffs. He has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last four appearances (since Game 4 of the First Round against Montreal), posting a 1.43 GAA and a .954 SV% (125 saves on 131 shots) over the span. Since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, Lundqvist has posted a 23-15 record, along with a 2.11 GAA, a .927 SV%, and 4 SO in 38 playoff games which have followed a Rangers loss.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh has registered a point in each of the last two games (one goal, one assist), and he leads Rangers defensemen in assists (two) and points (three) in the playoffs this year. The Rangers captain also ranks ninth in the NHL in average ice time in the playoffs this year (26:41). 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). 
 
RICK ROLLING
Rick Nash has tallied a goal in seven of his last 15 games (dating back to the regular season), tallying eight points (seven goals, one assist) over the span. He has registered 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last 16 playoff games, dating back to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay in 2015.
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello has notched three points (two goals, one assist) in the last two games. He leads the Rangers in goals (three) and is tied for the team lead in points (four) in the 2017 Playoffs.
 
ON THE MARC
Marc Staal enters the contest with 99 career NHL playoff games played, as well as 99 career playoff games played as a Ranger. Staal is one game away from becoming the second skater to appear in at least 100 playoff games as a Ranger in franchise history (along with Dan Girardi), as well as the third player in franchise history to accomplish the feat (along with Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist).
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei has registered two goals in the 2017 Playoffs, and he is the first Rangers defenseman who has tallied at least two playoff goals in his rookie year since Brian Leetch in 1989.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-4 (4:10) in Game 1 at Ottawa.
  • New York has recorded a power play goal in each of the last two games. 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-4 (6:17) in Game 1 at Ottawa.
  • Dating back to the regular season, New York has not allowed a power play goal against in eight of its last 12 games (31-for-36; 86.1%).
  • The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL in SHG in the 2017 Playoffs (one).

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

  • None 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • None

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Apr. 28, 1996 - The Rangers tallied four goals in the first period and defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to win the series, four games to two.
  • Apr. 29, 1957 - Andy Hebenton was named the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for the 1956-57 season.
  • Apr. 29, 1971 - Pete Stemkowski registered the game-winning goal at 1:29 of the third overtime period as the Rangers defeated the Chicago Black Hawks, 3-2, in Game 6 of the Semifinals at MSG.
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