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Rangers vs. Avalanche 2.11.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 35-18-1 (71 pts)
Avalanche: 15-34-2 (32 pts)
  
TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 55th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a season-long, four-game homestand tonight, Feb. 11, against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts enter the contest on a four-game winning streak and have won each of the first three games of their four-game homestand. In addition, New York has won seven of its last nine contests (7-2-0). The Rangers have posted a 35-18-1 record this season.

RANGERS VS. AVALANCHE

  • All-Time*: 38-32-7-6 (21-13-4-3 at home; 17-19-3-3 on the road) *Note: All-Time record includes games against the Quebec Nordiques from 1979-80 - 1994-95
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the second of two meetings between the Rangers and Avalanche, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. The Rangers have posted a 1-0-0 record (0-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) and defeated the Avalanche, 6-2, on Dec. 31 in Colorado. Chris Kreider tallied a hat trick and J.T. Miller registered two goals in the contest, while Henrik Lundqvist passed Dominik Hasek to become the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in six of their last seven games against the Avalanche, dating back to Feb. 4, 2014 (4-1-2). 

RANGERS-AVALANCHE CONNECTIONS

  • Nick Holden played three seasons with Colorado (2013-14 - 2015-16) and was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Avalanche on June 25, 2016.
  • Fedor Tyutin played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2003-04 - 2007-08).
  • John Mitchell played with the Rangers for one season (2011-12).
  • Mats Zuccarello and Andreas Martinsen are the only two Norwegian-born players who are currently in the NHL. Zuccarello and Martinsen have been teammates with Team Norway in several international tournaments.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Cody Goloubef were all teammates with the University of Wisconsin for two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10). McDonagh and Goloubef were teammates for three seasons (2007-08 - 2009-10).
  • Rick Nash and Fedor Tyutin were teammates with the Blue Jackets for four seasons (2008-09 - 2011-12), and were coached by Scott Arniel for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Mika Zibanejad and Patrick Wiercioch were teammates with the Senators for four seasons (2012-13 - 2015-16). Zibanejad, Wiercioch, and Matt Puempel were all teammates for parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16).
  • Rick Nash and Jarome Iginla helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Nash and Matt Duchene helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and represented Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, and Gabriel Landeskog all represented Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship. In addition, Lindberg and Landeskog helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Pavel Buchnevich and Mikhail Grigorenko helped Russia earn a bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Nick Holden and Jarome Iginla both grew up in St. Albert, Alberta, a suburb of Edmonton.
  • Michael Grabner and Blake Comeau were teammates for parts of two seasons with the Islanders (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Chris Drury played four seasons with Colorado (1998-99 - 2001-02) and helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2000-01.
  • Benoit Allaire and Avalanche Goaltending Coach Francois Allaire are brothers.
  • Avalanche Assistant Coach Dave Farrish played three seasons with the Rangers (1976-77 - 1978-79) and helped the Blueshirts advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1978-79.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. AVALANCHE

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 10 GP, 4-3-3, 2.28 GAA, .922 SV% - Lundqvist has earned at least one point in each of his last five appearances against Colorado, dating back to Feb. 4, 2014 (3-0-2 record, 1.75 GAA, .940 SV% over the span).
  • Rick Nash - 37 GP, 13-15-28 - Nash has recorded an assist/point in each of his last three games against the Avalanche (one goal, three assists) and has tallied 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in his last 18 contests against Colorado.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 8 GP, 2-7-9 - Zuccarello has tallied a point in seven of eight career games against the Avalanche, and he tallied two assists on Dec. 31, 2016 at Colorado.
  • Kevin Hayes - 5 GP, 2-4-6 - Hayes has registered a point in four of five career games against Colorado.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 6 GP, 1-5-6 - McDonagh has notched five points (one goal, four assists) in the last four games against the Avalanche.
  • Derek Stepan - 9 GP, 4-3-7 - Stepan has recorded a point in four of his last five games against the Avalanche (three goals, two assists).
  • Oscar Lindberg - 3 GP, 2-1-3 - Lindberg has recorded a point in each of his three career games against the Avalanche.

CAREER NIGHT
In the Rangers' last game on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville, several players either established or tied single-season career-highs, single-game career-highs, or career-best streaks:
 
J.T. Miller

  • Established single-season career-highs in points (44) and game-winning goals (six)
  • Tied a single-game career-high in goals (two)

 
Chris Kreider

  • Established a single-season career-high in goals (22)
  • Extended his point streak to a career-best, five games (four goals, one assist over the span)

 
Ryan McDonagh

  • Tied a single-season career-high in assists (29)

Kevin Hayes

  • Tied single-game career-highs in assists (three) and points (three) 

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 35 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most the team has earned through the first 54 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 35 wins through the first 54 games of a season five times in franchise history (1972-73, 1991-92, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only seasons in which the team earned more than 35 wins through the first 54 games were 1972-73 (37) and 2011-12 (36). The Rangers are tied for second in the NHL in wins this season.
 
THREE'S COMPANY
The Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller line registered six points (three goals, three assists) in the Rangers' last game on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville, and the three players have registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) in two games since Hayes returned to the lineup on Feb. 7. One of the three players has recorded five of the Blueshirts' last six goals.
 
HOME COOKING
The Blueshirts have earned a win in each of the first three games of their four-game homestand. The last time the Rangers won four consecutive home games which were part of the same homestand was from Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2011.
 
20/20 VISION
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has 12 players who have recorded at least 20 points this season.
 
GOALS GALORE
New York ranks second in the NHL in goals per game (3.39) and ranks third in the NHL in goals (185 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) this season. The Rangers have recorded 70 goals over the last 19 games, registering at least four goals in 13 of the 19 contests. In addition, the Blueshirts have recorded four goals in each of the last three games and in four of the last five contests.
 
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
New York has posted an 18-5-0 record against teams in the Western Conference this season. The Rangers lead all Eastern Conference teams in wins against Western Conference opponents in 2016-17.
 
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
New York enters the contest with a plus-42 goal differential this season (185 goals for; 143 goals against) and ranks third in the NHL in goal differential in 2016-17.
 
FABULOUS FEBRUARY
The Blueshirts have posted a 24-5-3 record in 32 games in February since the start of the 2014-15 season, including a 4-0-0 record in games in February this season.
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in six of the last nine games and in 32 of 54 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 27-4-1 record in those 32 contests in 2016-17.
 
THIRD PERIOD TALLIES
The Blueshirts lead the NHL in goals in the third period this season (74).
 
WINNING ON THE WEEKEND
The Rangers have posted a 15-3-1 record in weekend games this season, including a 7-2-0 record in games played on a Saturday.
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault earned his 600th career win as a head coach in the NHL on Feb. 7 vs. Anaheim. Vigneault is the 15th head coach in NHL history who has registered at least 600 career wins, and he is the fifth active NHL head coach who has accomplished the feat (Quenneville, Ruff, Trotz, and Sutter). Of the 15 head coaches who have earned at least 600 career wins in the NHL, Vigneault is the only one who reached the milestone while coaching the Rangers. He has earned 179 wins in 300 career games as the Rangers' Head Coach (179-98-23 record). The Rangers rank third in the NHL - and lead the Eastern Conference - in wins since Vigneault became the team's Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with 399 career NHL wins. With his next win, Lundqvist would become...
 

  • the 12th goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 career wins
  • the first European-born goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 career wins
  • the first goaltender to earn 400 career wins with the Rangers
  • the third goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 wins with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD; Esposito - CHI)
  • the second goaltender in NHL history to earn all of his first 400 career wins with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD)

 
FEWEST APPEARANCES TO EARN 400 CAREER NHL WINS
(courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau)
 
Martin Brodeur - 735
Chris Osgood - 742
Jacques Plante - 753
Patrick Roy - 753
*Lundqvist has earned 399 career NHL wins in 726 career NHL appearances
 
Lundqvist has posted a 7-1-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 1 SO in his last nine appearances, as well as a 1.97 GAA and a .947 SV% during his current four-game winning streak. He made 43 saves and earned a win on Feb. 7 vs. Anaheim, and the 43 saves were the most he has recorded in a win at MSG in his career. Lundqvist is the only goaltender in NHL history who has registered at least 20 wins in each of his first 12 seasons, and his 12 consecutive 20-win seasons are tied for the most in NHL history.
 
HENRIK LUNDQVIST WINS BY ARENA
 
Madison Square Garden - 224 wins
Nassau Coliseum - 15 wins
Wells Fargo Center - 15 wins
Prudential Center - 12 wins
BB&T Center - 11 wins
Canadian Tire Centre - 10 wins
PNC Arena - 10 wins
TD Garden - 9  wins
KeyBank Center - 8  wins
Amalie Arena - 7  wins
PPG Paints Arena - 7 wins
Verizon Center - 7 wins
Nationwide Arena - 6 wins
American Airlines Center - 5 wins
Air Canada Centre - 5 wins
Bell Centre - 4 wins
Mellon Arena - 4 wins
Rogers Arena - 4 wins
Bridgestone Arena - 4 wins
MTS Centre - 3 wins
Philips Arena - 3 wins
Scotiabank Saddledome - 3 wins
United Center - 3 wins
Honda Center - 2 wins
O2 Arena (Czech Republic) - 2 wins
Pepsi Center - 2 wins
SAP Center at San Jose - 2 wins
Scottrade Center - 2  wins
Xcel Energy Center - 2 wins
Yankee Stadium - 2 wins
Citizens Bank Park - 1 win
Continental Airlines Arena - 1 win
Gila River Arena - 1 win
Joe Louis Arena - 1 win
Rexall Place - 1  win
STAPLES Center - 1 win
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller enters the contest with a five-game point streak (two goals, seven assists), and he has posted a multi-point game in each of the last four contests (two goals, six assists). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Ranger who has posted a multi-point game in four consecutive games since Rick Nash during the 2012-13 season. Miller has registered a point in 15 of the last 17 games, tallying 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) over the span. He has tallied a point on the game-winning goal in six of the Rangers' last seven wins, and he has recorded a point in 27 of the team's 35 wins this season. Miller has established career-highs in assists (26), points (44), and game-winning goals (six) in 2016-17.
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider enters the contest with a five-game point streak, which is a career-high (four goals, one assist). Kreider has recorded 22 goals this season, which is his career-high, and he is the only Ranger who has recorded at least 20 goals in each of the last three seasons (2014-15 - 2016-17). He is tied for third in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1, 2016 (18). Kreider has tallied 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games at MSG in 2016-17, and he leads the team in goals and points at home this season.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (25), is tied for fourth in goals (26), and ranks eighth in plus/minus rating (plus-27) this season. Grabner leads the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per 60 minutes of ice time this season (2.11). He is also the only NHL player who has registered at least 25 goals and a plus-25 rating in 2016-17. Grabner has recorded 15 points (12 goals, three assists) in the last 14 games. Over the last 20 seasons (since 1996-97), Grabner is one of four Rangers who have tallied at least 25 even strength goals in a season (Jagr - 2005-06; Gaborik - 2009-10 and 2011-12; Nash - 2014-15).
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello tallied his 30th assist of the 2016-17 season on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville. He is the first Ranger who has registered 30 or more assists in at least four consecutive seasons since Brian Leetch), and he is also the first Rangers forward who has accomplished the feat since Mark Messier. Zuccarello has registered 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in the last 21 games.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh tallied his 29th assist of the 2016-17 season on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville, tying his career-high (he also recorded 29 assists in 2013-14). He is tied for third among NHL defensemen in games with an assist this season (25).
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei is one of four Rangers defensemen who have tallied at least 20 assists in their rookie season since 1988-89 (Leetch - 1988-89; Zubov - 1992-93; Del Zotto - 2009-10). He is one of five NHL defensemen who have recorded at least 19 even strength assists this season (Burns, Keith, Karlsson, and Hedman). Skjei is tied for second among NHL rookie defensemen in assists (22) and points (24) this season, and he leads NHL rookie defensemen in even strength assists (19) and even strength points (21) in 2016-17.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 0-for-1 (2:00) on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville.
New York has tallied a PPG in two of the last four games and in eight of the last 18 games (12-for-52; 23.1%).
The Blueshirts rank 11th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (21.0%; 33-for-157).
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 1-for-3 (3:22) on Feb. 9 vs. Nashville.
New York has not allowed a PPG against in six of the last nine games.
The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (seven).
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES
Henrik Lundqvist - 1 win away from 400 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
Jesper Fast - 2 games away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
 
INJURIES (134 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
Dan Girardi (ankle) - has missed one game
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Feb. 10, 1973 - The Rangers tied a franchise record by extending their winning streak to 10 games in a 6-0 win against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. In addition, the Blueshirts posted their third consecutive shutout.
  • Feb. 10, 2016 - Henrik Lundqvist established an NHL record for wins in the first 11 seasons of a career. Lundqvist earned his 366th career NHL win (passing Martin Brodeur) by stopping all 34 shots he faced as the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0.
  • Feb. 11, 1968 - The Rangers played their final game at the 'Old Garden', tying the Detroit Red Wings, 3-3. Jean Ratelle registered the final goal at MSG III.
  • gFeb. 11, 1994 - The scheduled contest between the Rangers and Quebec Nordiques at MSG was postponed due to a snowstorm in New York City.
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