WINNING WAYS - The Rangers' 31 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most the team has earned through the first 48 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 31 wins through the first 48 games of a season five times in franchise history (1971-72, 1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only season in which the Rangers earned more than 31 wins through the first 48 contests was 1993-94 (32).
BACK-TO-BACK - In their last 91 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 61-24-6 record in the second game of the set. New York has posted an 8-1-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set in 2016-17.
HOME COOKING - In their last 100 regular season games at Madison Square Garden (dating back to Nov. 3, 2014), the Rangers have posted a 63-28-9 record (.675 points percentage).
HOW THE WEST WAS WON - The Rangers have posted a 15-5-0 record in games against the Western Conference this season, including an 8-1-0 record against teams in the Pacific Division. In addition, the Blueshirts have registered 41 goals in their nine games against Pacific Division opponents in 2016-17.
TWO GOOD - The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in each of the last three games and in 29 of 49 games this season. The Blueshirts have posted a 25-3-1 record in those 29 contests in 2016-17.
BLOCK PARTY - The Blueshirts were credited with 25 blocked shots in the contest. Ten different Rangers recorded at least one blocked shot, while four different Blueshirts registered at least four blocked shots.
KILL ZONE - The Rangers were 2-for-2 (2:37) on the penalty kill in the contest. New York has not allowed a power play goal in 28 games this season (including each of the last three games), and the Rangers have posted a 23-5-0 record in those contests.
FULL HOUSE - Tonight's game was the Rangers' 209th consecutive regular season sellout and the Blueshirts' 250th consecutive sellout (regular season and playoffs combined). The Rangers' sellout streak dates back to Nov. 3, 2011.
Three Stars on Broadway
Henrik Lundqvistmade 36 saves, including 15 in the third period, to earn his third consecutive win and his 21st win of the 2016-17 season. He extended his winning streak to three games, and he has posted a 1.32 GAA, a .952 SV% (80 saves on 84 shots), and 1 SO over the three contests. Lundqvist has made at least 30 saves in a game nine times this season, and in the nine contests, he has posted an 8-1-0 record, along with a 1.99 GAA, a .944 SV%, and 1 SO. Lundqvist has started both ends of a back-to-back set 78 times in his career in the regular season. In the second game of those back-to-back sets, Lundqvist has posted a 50-21-7 record, along with a 2.05 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 8 SO.
Mats Zuccarello tallied the game-winning goal, led all skaters with three takeaways, and posted a plus-two rating in 19:08 of ice time. He extended his point streak to six games (one goal, seven assists over the span) and he has registered 23 points (two goals, 21 assists) in the last 23 games. Zuccarello leads the Rangers in points this season (38).
Matt Puempel tallied a goal and posted a plus-one rating in 14:18 of ice time. He has recorded a point in four of the last six games he has played (five goals, one assist), including three of his last four games (four goals, one assist).
Alain Vigneault coached his 1,100th game as a head coach in the National Hockey League in tonight's contest. Vigneault became the seventh active NHL head coach to reach the milestone (along with Joel Quenneville, Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock, Barry Trotz, Paul Maurice, and Darryl Sutter), as well as the 18th head coach in NHL history to accomplish the feat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only NHL head coach who earned more wins than Vigneault through his first 1,100 games coached in the league was Scotty Bowman (651 - Note: 48 of Vigneault's 597 wins entering tonight's game were games in which his team won in a shootout). Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Vigneault's 549 regulation and overtime wins are tied for the fifth-most through the first 1,100 games coached in NHL history (Scotty Bowman - 651; Al Arbour - 569; Joel Quenneville - 555; Mike Keenan - 550; Ken Hitchcock - 549).
Brandon Pirri registered the first goal of the game, tied for the team-high with three shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating. He has registered two goals in the last five games, and both of those goals have been the first goal of the contest (he also recorded the first goal of the game on Jan. 14 at Montreal). He has recorded five of his eight goals this season at MSG.
Derek Stepan recorded an assist in 19:07 of ice time. He leads the Rangers in primary assists this season (18). Stepan has registered 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in the last 24 games, including 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the last 15 games and six points (three goals, three assists) in the last five games.
J.T. Millertallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating in 17:41 of ice time. He has registered a point in 10 of the last 11 games, recording 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in those contests. Miller extended his point streak to three games (two goals, one assist), and he is tied for the team lead in games with a point this season (27).
Dan Girardi notched an assist, was credited with four blocked shots, and posted a plus-one rating in 20:12 of ice time.