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Rangers at Senators (Game 5): Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at OTTAWA SENATORS
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ET
Canadian Tire Centre - Ottawa, ON
 
Rangers: 6-4 (2-2)*
Senators: 6-4 (2-2)*
 
* 2017 Playoffs Record (Second Round Series Record)
 
TODAY'S GAME
The Rangers play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Ottawa Senators today, May 6, at Canadian Tire Centre (3:00 p.m. ET - TV: NBCSN; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece, following the Rangers' 4-1 win in Game 4 of the series at MSG on May 4.

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
Five of the seven meetings 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 eight of their last 13 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 playoff games)

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 11 GP, 6-5, 1.93 GAA, .936 SV%, 1 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last seven playoff appearances against the Senators, including one goal in four of the seven appearances.
  • Derek Stepan - 11 GP, 2-5-7 - Stepan has recorded five points (three goals, two assists) in six games against the Senators in 2016-17 (regular season and playoffs).
  • Ryan McDonagh - 11 GP, 1-3-4 - McDonagh has notched seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last five games against Ottawa (regular season and playoffs), as well as 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last nine contests against Ottawa. 

LEADING THE WAY
Over 262:54 of game time through the first four contests of the Second Round, the Rangers have led for 149:56, have been tied for 108:47, and have trailed for 4:11. The Blueshirts have not trailed at any point in each of the last three contests. The Rangers have recorded the first goal of the game in each of the first four contests in the Second Round.
 
HIGH FIVE
The Rangers have won each of their last 15 playoff series in which they earned a win in Game 5, dating back to the Patrick Division Semifinals against Philadelphia in 1986.
 
SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE
Since the start of the 2012 Playoffs, eight of the 15 playoff series the Rangers have played have been tied at two games apiece through the first four games. The Blueshirts have posted a 5-2 series record in series which were tied at two games apiece over the span. Both of the Rangers' two playoff series this year have been tied through the first four games.
 
FOUR SCORE
New York has tallied four or more goals in each of the last three games. The Blueshirts have recorded at least four goals in three consecutive playoff games for the first time since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against New Jersey in 2008 (Apr. 16, 2008) to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Pittsburgh in 2008 (Apr. 25, 2008). In addition, the Rangers have registered four or more goals in three straight games in the same playoff series for the first time since the first three games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Quebec in 1995.
 
FINISHING STRONG
The Rangers have posted a 12-5 record in their last 17 games which were Games 5-7 of a playoff series, dating back to Game 7 of the First Round against Philadelphia in 2014.
 
ROAD WARRIORS
New York led the NHL in road wins during the regular season in 2016-17 (27).
 
WINNING WAYS

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 (the Blueshirts also accomplished the feat from 1992 - 1997).
 
PLAYOFF PERFORMERS
The Rangers lead the NHL in playoff games played since the start of the 2012 Playoffs (91), and the Blueshirts also lead all Eastern Conference teams in playoff wins (46) 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 (10 each).
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in six of the last seven games and in seven of 10 playoff games in 2017. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in each of its six playoff wins in 2017 and in 29 of its 31 playoff wins since the start of the 2014 Playoffs. The Rangers rank third in the NHL - and lead the Eastern Conference - in goals against per game in the playoffs this year (2.10).
 
PLAYING THE GAME
All of the top five Rangers in playoff games played in franchise history (skaters and goaltenders included) are on the current roster: Henrik Lundqvist (126), Dan Girardi (120), Marc Staal (102), Derek Stepan (95), and Ryan McDonagh (94).
 
SECOND HELPING
Through 10 playoff games in 2017, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 14-4, in the second period.
 
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 earned more series wins in best-of-seven series than any other head coach in franchise history. Vigneault has earned 31 career playoff wins as the Rangers' Head Coach, trailing only Francis (34) and Lester Patrick (32) in career playoff wins among head coaches in franchise history.
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei posted his first career NHL multi-goal game (regular season or playoffs) by tallying two goals in Game 2 at Ottawa. He became the first Rangers defenseman to register at least two goals in a playoff game since Brian Leetch in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Philadelphia in 1995. Skjei is tied for fifth in the NHL - and is tied for first among NHL defensemen - in goals in the playoffs this year (four). Skjei's four goals are also tied for the most a Rangers rookie defenseman has tallied in one year in the playoffs in franchise history (Reijo Ruotsalainen - 1982).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist ranks second in the NHL in saves (312) and SV% (.937), is tied for third in wins (six) and shutouts (one), and ranks fourth in GAA (1.94) in the 2017 Playoffs. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last seven appearances, including one goal in four of the seven appearances. Lundqvist leads active NHL goaltenders in career playoff appearances (126), career playoff wins (61), and career playoff shutouts (10).
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello has tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in the last five games. He is tied for fifth in the NHL - and is tied for the team lead - in goals in the playoffs this year (four).
 
MIKA MAGIC
Mika Zibanejad leads the Rangers in assists (six) and points (seven) in the playoffs this year, and he is tied for seventh in the NHL in assists in the 2017 Playoffs. He has recorded an assist/point in four of the last six games (one goal, five assists).
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh has notched six points (one goal, five assists) in the last seven games, including five points (one goal, four assists) in the last five contests. He ranks seventh in the NHL in average ice time in the playoffs this year (27:19). The Rangers captain tallied his 40th career playoff point in Game 4 vs. Ottawa, becoming the fourth defenseman in franchise history to accomplish the feat (along with Brian Leetch, Ron Greschner, and Brad Park).
 
OSCAR-WORTHY PERFORMANCE
Oscar Lindberg posted his first multi-goal/point game in the playoffs in his NHL career by recording in Game 4 vs. Ottawa. He has tallied a goal/point in each of the last two games (three goals over the span).
 
TANNER TIME
Tanner Glass recorded two assists in Game 4 vs. Ottawa. He has notched four points (one goal, three assists) in five playoff games this year, and he leads the Rangers (min. two games played) in points per game in the 2017 Playoffs (0.80).
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist), and he is tied for the team lead in goals in the playoffs this year (four).
 
STEP-AN UP
Derek Stepan enters the contest with a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists), and he has registered four points (two goals, two assists) in the last five games. Stepan has skated in 95 career playoff games with the Rangers, which is more than any other forward has played with the Blueshirts in franchise history. He has recorded 48 career playoff points with the Rangers, and he is one point away from tying Steve Vickers and Ron Greschner for sixth place on the franchise's all-time playoff points list.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
The Blueshirts have either outscored or tied their opponent in special teams scoring in nine of 10 playoff games this year.
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-6 (7:29) in Game 4 vs. Ottawa.
  • New York has recorded a power play goal in three of the last five games. 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-2 (2:50) in Game 4 vs. Ottawa.
  • Dating back to the regular season, New York has not allowed a power play goal in 11 of its last 15 games (40-for-45; 88.9%).
  • The Rangers lead the NHL in shorthanded goals in the 2017 Playoffs (three).

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

  • None

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • May 1 - Agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Neal Pionk 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • May 5, 1979 - Ron Greschner tallied three points (one goal, two assists) and Anders Hedberg recorded the game-winning goal with 2:13 remaining in regulation as the Rangers defeated the New York Islanders, 4-3, in Game 5 of the Semifinals at Nassau Coliseum.
  • May 5, 1994 - The Rangers earned their seventh consecutive playoff win to start the 1994 Playoffs, defeating the Washington Capitals, 3-0, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • May 6, 1997 - Esa Tikkanen registered two goals and Mike Richter made 33 saves as the Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
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