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Rangers vs. Capitals 2.19.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, 12:30 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 37-19-1 (75 pts)
Capitals: 39-11-7 (85 pts)

TODAY'S GAME
The Rangers play their 58th game of the 2016-17 season today, Feb. 19, against the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m. ET - TV: NBC Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven games (6-1-0), as well as nine of their last 12 contests (9-3-0). The Rangers have posted a 37-19-1 record this season.
 
RANGERS VS. CAPITALS

  • All-Time: 95-91-18-7 (51-41-9-4 at home; 44-50-9-3 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the second of four meetings between the Rangers and Capitals, and the first of two meetings 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 the Blueshirts defeated the Capitals, 4-2, in the first meeting between the two teams on Oct. 22 at Washington. Jimmy Vesey recorded two goals, including the game-winning goal, in the contest. Following tomorrow's game, the Rangers and Capitals will face each other on the following dates: Feb. 28 (at MSG), Apr. 5 (at Washington).
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in 17 of their last 24 games against Washington, dating back to Dec. 12, 2010 (15-7-2). In addition, the Blueshirts have registered at least one point in eight of their last 11 contests against the Capitals (7-3-1).
  • The Rangers have tallied at least three goals in nine of their last 11 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.
  • Rick Nash and Justin Williams helped Canada earn a gold medal at the 2007 IIHF World Championship.
  • Kevin Klein's first head coach in the NHL was Barry Trotz (2005-06 - 2013-14 with Nashville).
  • Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, John Carlson, and T.J. Oshie all represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. CAPITALS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 33 GP, 20-9-4, 2.63 GAA, .907 SV%, 4 SO - In his last 16 appearances against the Capitals (dating back to Dec. 12, 2010), Lundqvist has posted an 11-3-2 record, along with a 2.16 GAA, a .922 SV%, and 3 SO.
  • Rick Nash - 23 GP, 13-11-24 - Nash has tallied nine points (six goals, three assists) in his last nine games against Washington.
  • Ryan McDonagh - 23 GP, 1-16-17 - McDonagh enters the contest with a five-game assist/point streak against the Capitals (seven assists over the span), and he has registered nine assists in his last eight contests against Washington. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, McDonagh has notched an assist/point in 12 of 17 games against Washington, tallying 15 assists over the span.
  • Kevin Hayes - 10 GP, 4-5-9 - Hayes has posted four multi-point games in 10 career contests against Washington.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 16 GP, 0-8-8 - Zuccarello has recorded seven assists/points in the last 10 games against the Capitals.

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 37 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most the team has earned through the first 57 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 37 wins through the first 57 games of a season five times in franchise history (1971-72, 1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only seasons in which the team earned more than 37 wins through the first 57 games were 1972-73 (38) and 2011-12 (38). The Rangers are tied for third in the NHL in wins this season and are the only Eastern Conference team that has earned at least 18 wins both at home and on the road in 2016-17.
 
BOUNCE BACK
Since Dec. 22, 2015, the Rangers have posted a 31-8-1 record in the game following a loss (regulation or overtime/shootout). New York has posted a 14-4-1 record in games following a loss in 2016-17.
 
HOME COOKING
The Blueshirts have won each of their last four home games and swept a four-game homestand from Feb. 5 vs. Calgary to Feb. 11 vs. Colorado. Prior to the four-game stretch, the last time the Rangers won four consecutive home games which were all part of the same homestand was from Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2011. 
 
GOALS GALORE
New York ranks second in the NHL in goals (194 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and ranks third in the NHL in goals per game (3.37) this season. The Rangers have recorded 79 goals over the last 22 games, registering at least four goals in 14 of the 22 contests. In addition, the Blueshirts have recorded four goals in four of the last six games and in five of the last eight contests.
 
THREE'S COMPANY
The Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller line has recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in five games since Hayes returned to the lineup, and a member of the line has registered seven of the Rangers' 17 goals over the span.
 
THIRD PERIOD TALLIES
The Blueshirts lead the NHL in third period goals in 2016-17 (80) and are the only NHL team that has recorded at least 80 goals in any period thus far this season.
 
FABULOUS FEBRUARY
The Rangers have posted a 26-6-3 record in 35 games in February since the start of the 2014-15 season, including a 6-1-0 record in games in February this season.
 
ON POINT
Rangers defensemen have tallied nine points (four goals, five assists) over the last three games.
 
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault enters tomorrow's contest with 181 career wins as the Rangers' Head Coach, and he is tied with Frank Boucher for third place on the franchise's all-time wins list among head coaches. Since Vigneault was named the Rangers' Head Coach prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the Blueshirts are tied for second in the NHL - and lead the Eastern Conference - in wins.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 400th career NHL win on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, becoming the 12th goaltender in NHL history to earn 400 career wins, as well as the first goaltender to earn 400 wins with the Rangers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist, who earned his 400th career NHL win in his 727th career NHL appearance, became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to accomplish the feat. He also became the second goaltender in NHL history to earn all of his first 400 career wins with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD). Lundqvist is one win away from tying Chris Osgood for 11th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. He has posted an 8-2-0 record, along with a 2.11 GAA, a .934 SV%, and 1 SO in his last 11 appearances. 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.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has registered a point in 17 of the last 20 games, tallying 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) over the span, and he posted two, seven-game point streaks during the stretch. Miller has established career-highs in assists (28), points (46), and game-winning goals (six) in 2016-17.
  
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider is expected to skate in his 300th career NHL game in tomorrow's contest. He 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). Kreider ranks fifth in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1, 2016 (18).
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (25), is tied for seventh in plus/minus rating (plus-28), and is tied for eighth in goals (26) this season. Grabner leads the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per 60 minutes of ice time this season (2.00). He is also the only NHL player who has registered at least 25 goals and a plus-25 rating in 2016-17.
 
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes has notched a point in four of five games since returning from injury, recording seven points (two goals, five assists) over the span. He leads the NHL in shorthanded assists (five) and shorthanded points (six) this season. New York has posted a 13-0-0 record in games which Hayes has tallied a goal in 2016-17.
 
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. Zuccarello has registered 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in the last 24 games.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh tallied his 30th assist of the 2016-17 season on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, establishing a career-high. He is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in games with an assist this season (26).
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei recorded his 20th even strength assist of the season on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, becoming the first Rangers defenseman to tally 20 even strength assists in his rookie season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. Skjei is one of five NHL defensemen who have recorded at least 20 even strength assists this season (Burns, Keith, Karlsson, and Hedman). He leads all NHL rookies in even strength assists (21) and is tied for second among all NHL rookies in assists (25) in 2016-17.
 
VESEY DOES IT
Jimmy Vesey has recorded a goal in each of the last two games, and he ranks sixth among NHL rookies in goals this season (14).
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
 
Power Play:

  • The Rangers were 1-for-4 (7:55) on Feb. 16 at NY Islanders.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for 14th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (20.1%; 34-for-169).

Penalty Kill:

  • The Rangers were 2-for-2 (4:00) on Feb. 16 at NY Islanders.
  • New York has not allowed a PPG against in nine of the last 12 games, including each of the last three games.
  • The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in SHG in 2016-17 (eight).

UPCOMING MILESTONES
Chris Kreider - 1 game away from 300 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
 
INJURIES (137 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
None
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Feb. 18, 1968 - The Rangers played their first game at the current Madison Square Garden and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1.
  • Feb. 18, 1976 - Steve Vickers established a single-game franchise record by tallying seven points (three goals, four assists) as the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 11-4, at MSG.
  • Feb. 19, 1977 - Rod Gilbert registered his 1,000th career NHL point, becoming the first (and only) player to register 1,000 career points with the Rangers.
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