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Rangers vs. Capitals 10.22.16: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Verizon Center - Washington, D.C. 

Rangers: 2-2-0 (4 pts)
Capitals: 3-0-1 (7 pts)
 

TONIGHT'S GAME

The Rangers play their fifth game of the 2016-17 season and begin a back-to-back set tomorrow, Oct. 22, against the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Verizon Center (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts enter the contest with a 2-2-0 record this season.

HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT

The Rangers and the Garden of Dreams Foundation are hosting "Hockey Fights Cancer" Night on Sunday, October 23 against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden. As part of the evening's efforts to raise awareness and money for the fight against cancer, Rangers players will wear lavender jerseys and use lavender tape on their sticks during warm-ups, and they will also sport Hockey Fights Cancer decals on the back right of their helmets during the game. In addition, Rangers coaches will wear commemorative lavender ties and pocket squares during the game. A limited selection of Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise will be available for purchase at MSG Retail Stores, and a portion of the proceeds from wholesale purchase benefits Hockey Fights Cancer. The jerseys and sticks used by the players in warm-ups will be auctioned at newyorkrangers.com/hockeyfightscancer to benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Fans are also encouraged to join the fight on October 23 by downloading Hockey Fights Cancer placards courtesy of Northwell Health and sharing their messages on social media using #NYRHFC and through snapchat by using the custom Rangers Hockey Fights Cancer filter. Visit newyorkrangers.com/hockeyfightscancer to learn more.

RANGERS VS. CAPITALS

  • All-Time: 94-91-18-7 (51-41-9-4 at home; 43-50-9-3 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Capitals, and the first of two meetings between the two teams in Washington. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Capitals will play against each other on the following dates: Feb. 19 (at MSG), Feb. 28 (at MSG), Apr. 5 (at Washington).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 2-2-1 record (1-1-1 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). New York recorded at least three goals in four of the five contests and registered 16 goals over the five games. Ryan McDonagh led all skaters with six assists and led the Rangers with six points in the season series, and he recorded an assist/point in four of five games. Chris Kreider led the Rangers with three goals, while Kevin Hayes tallied four points (two goals, two assists) in the season series.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in 16 of their last 23 games against Washington, dating back to Dec. 12, 2010 (14-7-2). In addition, the Blueshirts have registered at least one point in seven of their last 10 contests against the Capitals (6-3-1).
  • New York has won eight of its last 11 road games against Washington (8-3-0), including five of its last seven road contests against the Capitals (5-2-0).
  • The Rangers have tallied at least three goals in eight of their last 10 games against Washington.

RANGERS-CAPITALS CONNECTIONS

  • Brady Skjei and Nate Schmidt were teammates at the University of Minnesota for one season (2012-13).
  • Ryan McDonagh and Lars Eller were selected in consecutive picks in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (McDonagh - 12th overall by Montreal; Eller - 13th overall by St. Louis).
  • Jim Schoenfeld was Washington's Head Coach for parts of four seasons (1993-94 - 1996-97).
  • Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan played with the Rangers during the 1985-86 season.
  • Kevin Klein's first head coach in the NHL was Barry Trotz (2005-06 - 2013-14).  

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CAPITALS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 32 GP, 19-9-4, 2.65 GAA, .906 SV%, 4 SO - Lundqvist has posted a 10-3-2 record, along with a 2.17 GAA, a .922 SV%, and 3 SO in his last 15 games against Washington, dating back to Dec. 12, 2010.
  • Rick Nash - 22 GP, 12-10-22 - Nash has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in his last eight contests against the Capitals.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 22 GP, 1-15-16 - McDonagh enters the contest with a four-game assist/point streak against Washington (six assists over the span) and has notched eight assists/points in his last seven games against the Capitals. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, McDonagh has notched an assist/point in 11 of 16 games against Washington, tallying 14 assists over the span.
  • Kevin Hayes - 9 GP, 4-5-9 - Hayes has posted four multi-point games in nine career contests against Washington, including three multi-point games in his last six contests against the Capitals.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 15 GP, 0-7-7 - Zuccarello has recorded six assists/points in the last nine games against the Capitals.

GOALS GALORE

The Rangers have tallied 15 goals in their first four games this season (3.75 goals per game). Through the first four games, 10 different Rangers have recorded at least one goal and 18 different Rangers (including goaltender Antti Raanta) have tallied at least one point. The Blueshirts are one of six NHL teams that have 10 different players who have recorded at least one goal this season and are also one of five NHL teams that have 18 different players who have notched at least one point in 2016-17. 

SHOOTING GALLERY

The Blueshirts have outshot their opponents, 136-95, through the first four games this season (34.0 shots on goal per game; 23.8 shots on goal against per game). New York has recorded at least 30 shots on goal in three of the four contests. In addition, the Blueshirts have held their opponent to 18 shots on goal in two of the four contests. The Rangers have allowed the fewest shots on goal against per game and rank third in the NHL in shots on goal per game this season.

HOT AT THE DOT

The Blueshirts rank third in the NHL in faceoff win percentage this season (56.1%; 138-for-246). New York has won at least 51.6% of faceoffs in each of its first four games in 2016-17. In addition, the Rangers have posted the second-best faceoff win percentage in the defensive zone (58.7%; 44-for-75) and the third-best faceoff win percentage in the offensive zone (61.3%; 49-for-80) in the NHL in 2016-17. Five of six Rangers who have taken at least 10 faceoffs this season have posted a faceoff win percentage of 50.0 or better. 

ROAD WARRIORS

New York is tied for third in the NHL - and leads Eastern Conference teams - in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (72; 72-43-9 record in 124 road games over the span).

HIGH FIVE

The Rangers lead the NHL in shooting percentage (9.0) and are tied for first in the NHL in save percentage (.932) during 5-on-5 play since the start of the 2014-15 season.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

Seven different Rangers tallied a goal on Oct. 17 vs. San Jose. The contest marked the first time seven different Blueshirts recorded a goal in the same game since Jan. 19, 2010 vs. Tampa Bay (eight different Rangers notched a goal).

AV SQUAD

Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in regular season wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (459). Vigneault leads all Rangers head coaches (min. 100 regular season games coached) in points percentage in franchise history (.628).

 KREID-ING HIGH

Chris Kreider enters the contest with a four-game assist/point streak, and he has registered seven points (three goals, four assists) in those contests. Kreider posted a multi-point game in each of New York's first three games this season, tallying six points.

  • Kreider became the first Ranger to register six points in the first three games of a season since Brian Leetch in 1992-93.
  • Kreider became the first Rangers forward to tally at least six points in the first three games of a season since Bernie Nicholls and Darren Turcotte in 1990-91.
  • Kreider became the first Ranger to post a multi-point game in each of the first three games of a season since Nicholls in 1990-91.
  • Kreider's active four-game assist streak is a career-high, and his active four-game point streak is tied for his career-high. In addition, Kreider's three-game goal streak over the first three games of the season was a career-high.

Kreider is tied for third in the NHL in shots on goal (20), is tied for fourth in points (seven), is tied for fifth in hits (16), is tied for eighth in goals (three), and is tied for ninth in assists (four) this season. He is the only player who ranks among the top 10 in the NHL in all five categories thus far this season.

TAKING THE METRO

Among players in the Metropolitan Division, Chris Kreider ranks first in points and shots on goal, is tied for second in goals and assists, and is tied for third in hits.

MIKA MAGIC

Mika Zibanejad has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in four games thus far in 2016-17, and he posted a multi-point game in each of the first two games of the season. He has posted a faceoff win percentage of 50.0 or better in each game this season, including a faceoff win percentage of 60.0 or better in three of the four contests (62.1%; 59-for-95). Zibanejad ranks third in the NHL in faceoffs won, and he ranks fifth in the NHL (min. 50 faceoffs taken) in faceoff win percentage.

KING HENRIK

Henrik Lundqvist is one of three goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 30 wins in 10 different seasons (along with Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy). He is the Rangers' all-time leader in several categories, including wins (375), appearances (688), shutouts (59), and save percentage (.920).

Lundqvist has started 162 regular season games against a goaltender who has also won the Vezina Trophy in his career. In the 162 contests, Lundqvist has posted a 97-50-15 record, along with a 2.22 GAA, a .922 SV%, and 14 SO. In nine regular season games in which he and Braden Holtby have both started, Lundqvist has posted a 5-2-2 record, along with a 2.51 GAA, a .907 SV%, and 1 SO.

 CAPTAIN MAC

Ryan McDonagh ranks 10th in the NHL in average ice time this season (25:56). The Rangers captain has registered three assists/points in the last two games, and he tied a single-game career-high with two assists on Oct. 17 vs. San Jose. McDonagh has notched 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in his last 37 games, dating back to Jan. 9, 2016. 

WELCOME MATS

Mats Zuccarello tied a single-game career-high with three points (one goal, two assists) on Oct. 17 vs. San Jose. Since the start of last season, Zuccarello has tallied all of his 28 goals in situations when the Rangers have either led by one goal, trailed by one goal, or were tied. 

FINE KLEIN

Kevin Klein is one of two Rangers defensemen who have recorded nine or more even strength goals in at least two different seasons since 1986-87 (along with Brian Leetch). 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Rangers have posted a 33-2-3 record in games which they have outscored their opponent on special teams.

Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 0-for-4 (6:59) on Oct. 19 vs. Detroit.

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 3-for-4 (6:24) on Oct. 19 vs. Detroit.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Derek Stepan - 4 assists away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
  • Ryan McDonagh - 6 games away from 400 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
  • Rick Nash - 6 goals away from 400 in his NHL career

INJURIES (11 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Oscar Lindberg (hip surgery) - placed on IR
  • Dan Girardi (groin strain) - day-to-day
  • Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) - day-to-day

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Oct. 16 - Signed Justin Fontaine to a two-way contract; Assigned Justin Fontaine to Hartford (AHL)

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Oct. 21, 1972 - The Rangers and Islanders faced each other in a regular season game for the first time. The Blueshirts won the contest, 2-1, at Nassau Coliseum.
  • Oct. 21, 2009 - Mark Messier and Mike Richter received the Lester Patrick Trophy in recognition of their outstanding contributions to hockey in the United States.
  • Oct. 22, 1966 - Rod Gilbert registered his first career NHL hat trick and notched an assist as the Rangers tied the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-4.
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