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Rangers at Wild 3.18.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers /

Saturday, Mar. 18, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN
Rangers: 44-24-3 (91 pts)
Wild: 43-20-6 (92 pts)
The Rangers play their 72nd game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Mar. 18, against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have won 13 of their last 21 games (13-6-2), as well as 16 of their last 26 contests (16-8-2). The Rangers have posted a 44-24-3 record this season.


  • All-Time: 13-8-0-0 (7-3-0-0 at home; 6-5-0-0 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Wild, and the only meeting between the two teams in Minnesota. The Rangers have posted a 0-1-0 record (0-1-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road) and were defeated by the Wild, 7-4, on Dec. 23 at MSG. Chris Kreider (two goals, one assist), Derek Stepan (one goal, two assists), and Mats Zuccarello (three assists) each tallied three points on Dec. 23, while Ryan McDonagh notched two points (one goal, one assist) in the contest.
  • The Blueshirts have won five of their last eight games against Minnesota, dating back to Mar. 27, 2012 (5-3-0).
  • Six different Rangers goaltenders have earned at least one win against Minnesota in franchise history (Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Richter, Mike Dunham, Dan Blackburn, Cam Talbot, and Martin Biron).


  • Marc Staal and Eric Staal are brothers. Marc and Eric, along with their brother, Jordan, 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.
  • Steven Kampfer played part of one season with Minnesota (2011-12).
  • Eric Staal played part of one season with the Rangers (2015-16).
  • The Rangers have three players on their roster who were born in Minnesota: Ryan McDonagh (St. Paul, MN), Brady Skjei (Lakeville, MN), and Derek Stepan (Hastings, MN).
  • Michael Grabner and Nino Niederreiter were teammates with the Islanders for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Adam Clendening and Charlie Coyle were teammates at Boston University for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Brady Skjei and Erik Haula were teammates at the University of Minnesota for one season (2012-13).
  • Rick Nash and Tyler Graovac are both natives of Brampton, Ontario.
  • Brady Skjei and Jordan Schroeder are both natives of Lakeville, Minnesota.


  • Ryan McDonagh - 9 GP, 3-9-12 - McDonagh enters the contest with an eight-game point streak against the Wild (three goals, nine assists over the span), and he has tallied a goal in each of the last three contests against Minnesota. He has registered a point in all four games he has played in Minnesota in his career, tallying six points (one goal, five assists) in the four contests.
  • Rick Nash - 37 GP, 15-16-31 - Nash has tallied a point in six of his last seven games against Minnesota, recording eight points (two goals, six assists) in those contests.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 8 GP, 2-7-9 - Zuccarello has registered five assists/points and a plus-four rating in his last two games against the Wild.
  • Brendan Smith - 9 GP, 2-5-7 - Smith has tallied a point in six of nine career games against Minnesota.
  • Derek Stepan - 8 GP, 2-4-6 - Stepan has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in his last two games against Minnesota.
  • Chris Kreider - 7 GP, 4-2-6 - Kreider has registered four points (three goals, one assist) and a plus-five rating in his last two contests against the Wild.
  • J.T. Miller - 5 GP, 2-2-4 - Miller has tallied a point in three of his last four games against the Wild (two goals, two assists).

The Rangers' 44 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the 10th-most in one season in franchise history. The Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL in wins this season and are tied for second in the NHL in wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (188). The Rangers' 188 wins since 2013-14 are the most in any four-season span in franchise history.
The Rangers lead the NHL in road wins this season (25) and since the start of the 2013-14 season (97). The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven road games (6-1-0), 10 of their last 12 road contests (10-2-0), and 18 of their last 22 road games (18-4-0). The Rangers' 25 road wins in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most road wins in one season in franchise history, and the only season in which the Blueshirts earned more than 25 road wins was 2014-15 (28).
The Rangers have posted a 9-3-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set thus far this season. In their last 94 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 62-26-6 record in the second game of the set. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers are the first NHL team in seven years to play eight straight games as part of four consecutive back-to-back sets (Carolina - Nov. 28, 2010 - Dec. 16, 2010).
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 36-9-2 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 19-5-2 record in games following a loss in 2016-17.
The Rangers have posted a 19-5-0 record in games against Western Conference opponents this season. The Blueshirts lead all Eastern Conference teams in wins against teams in the Western Conference in 2016-17.
Since Jan. 7, 18 of the Rangers' 30 games have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have earned at least one point in 13 of the last 15 games they have played which were decided by one goal, dating back to Jan. 22 (11-2-2). The Blueshirts have posted a 20-9-3 record in one-goal games this season and lead the Eastern Conference in winning percentage in one-goal games in 2016-17 (.625).
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 15 of the last 26 games and in 41 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 35-4-2 record in those 41 contests in 2016-17.
Blueshirts defensemen have tallied 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) over the last 17 games and a Rangers defenseman has recorded a goal in nine of the 17 contests. Seven different defensemen have recorded a goal over the span (Klein, Girardi, Holden, McDonagh, Clendening, Skjei, and Kampfer). A Blueshirts defenseman has notched a point on 18 of the team's last 28 goals.
Chris Kreider has established career-highs in goals (26) and points (49) this season. He enters the contest with a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists) and a four-game assist streak, both of which are tied for his career-high.
Ryan McDonagh is one of four NHL defensemen who have recorded at least 38 points and a plus-18 rating in 2016-17. The Rangers captain ranks third among NHL defensemen in games with a plus/minus rating of even or better this season (58).
Antti Raanta has posted a 14-5-1 record, along with a 2.16 GAA, a .927 SV%, and 3 SO in 22 starts in 2016-17. He has established career-highs in appearances (26), wins (14), and shutouts (three) in 2016-17.
Kevin Hayes has established career-highs in assists (29), points (46), shorthanded assists (six), shorthanded points (seven), and game-winning goals (four) this season, and he has also tied his career-high in goals (17). Hayes leads the NHL in shorthanded assists and shorthanded points this season. In addition, Hayes leads the Rangers in points on the road in 2016-17 (27; 11 goals, 16 assists), and he has posted a plus-15 rating in 33 road contests this season.
Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in assists (36) and even strength assists (30) this season, and he is the first Ranger who has recorded at least 30 even strength assists in one season since Marian Gaborik in 2009-10. He enters the contest with a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists).
Derek Stepan has recorded 48 points this season, and he has tallied at least 50 points in four different seasons in his NHL career (2011-12; 2013-14 - 2015-16). Over the last 25 seasons (since 1991-92), the only Rangers who have posted more 50-point seasons than Stepan are Brian Leetch (eight), Mark Messier (seven), and Adam Graves (six). Stepan has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) and 21 shots on goal over the last four games.
Brady Skjei has registered 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) and a plus-13 rating in the last 26 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. Skjei has recorded 29 assists this season, which is tied for the fourth-most by a Rangers defenseman in his rookie season in franchise history. The only Rangers defensemen who have tallied 30 or more assists in their rookie season are Brian Leetch (48 - 1988-89), Reijo Ruotsalainen (38 - 1981-82), and Ron Greschner (37 - 1974-75).
J.T. Miller has registered a point in 22 of the last 34 games, recording 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) over the span. Miller is one of six NHL players who have registered at least 50 points and a plus-20 rating this season, and he leads the Rangers in points in 2016-17 (51). He has reached the 20-goal plateau for the second consecutive season in 2016-17, and he has established career-highs in assists (31) and points this season.
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-3 (4:49) tonight vs. Florida.
  • The Blueshirts are 5-for-12 (41.7%) on the power play over the last four games.
  • New York ranks fourth in the NHL in power play efficiency on the road this season (22.5%; 23-for-102). 

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-2 (2:45) tonight vs. Florida.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (nine).


  • Brendan Smith - 1 game away from 300 in his NHL career
  • Brandon Pirri - 2 points away from 100 in his NHL career 

INJURIES (177 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Kevin Klein (back spasms) - has missed 12 games
  • Dan Girardi (ankle) - has missed nine games
  • Henrik Lundqvist (hip strain) - has missed four games


  • Mar. 16 - Recalled Magnus Hellberg from Hartford (AHL) on an emergency basis; Agreed to terms with Tim Gettinger on an entry-level contract
  • Mar. 14 - Assigned Magnus Hellberg to Hartford (AHL)


  • Mar. 18, 2014 - Henrik Lundqvist became the Rangers' all-time leader in wins, earning his 302nd career win with the franchise as the Blueshirts defeated the Ottawa Senators, 8-4.
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