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Rangers vs. Kings 1.23.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 30-16-1 (61 pts)
Kings: 22-20-4 (48 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 48th game of the 2016-17 season and conclude a back-to-back set tonight, Jan. 23, against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). The Blueshirts have won each of the last two games, allowing two goals over the span. The Rangers have posted a 30-16-1 record this season.

RANGERS VS. KINGS

  • All-Time: 67-45-16-3 (37-20-6-1 at home; 30-25-10-2 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Kings, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Kings will face each other on the following date: Mar. 25 (at Los Angeles).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 0-0-2 record (0-0-1 at home; 0-0-1 on the road). New York registered at least three goals in each of the two contests. Kevin Hayes led the Rangers with two goals and three points in two games, while J.T. Miller, Derek Stepan, and Mats Zuccarello each recorded one goal and one assist during the season series.
  • The Rangers have earned at least one point in eight of their last 11 games against the Kings, dating back to Dec. 17, 2008 (5-3-3).

RANGERS-KINGS CONNECTIONS

  • Marian Gaborik played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2009-10 - 2012-13).
  • Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille played two seasons with the Rangers (1995-96 and 1996-97).
  • Darryl Williams played part of one season with the Kings (1992-93).
  • Rick Nash and Jeff Carter were teammates with the Blue Jackets for part of one season (2011-12). Nash and Carter are two of four NHL players who have tallied 20 or more goals in at least 11 different seasons since 2003-04 (along with Ovechkin and Iginla).
  • Mats Zuccarello and Anze Kopitar were teammates with Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Zuccarello and Kopitar tied for the team lead with four points while helping Team Europe advance to the Final Series of the tournament.
  • Adam Clendening, Nick Shore, and Derek Forbort were teammates with the U.S. National Team Development Program for two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10) and helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championship.
  • Dan Girardi and Dustin Brown were teammates with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League for part of one season (2002-03). 

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. KINGS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 9 GP, 3-4-2, 2.63 GAA, .913 SV% - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in four of his last seven appearances against Los Angeles (3-2-2 record, 2.24 GAA, .924 SV%).
  • Rick Nash - 38 GP, 15-17-32 - Since joining the Rangers, Nash has tallied three assists/points in four games against Los Angeles, and he has recorded 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his last 12 contests against the Kings.
  • Kevin Hayes - 4 GP, 3-2-5 - Hayes has tallied a point in each of his four career games against the Kings, including a goal in each of his last three games against Los Angeles.
  • Mika Zibanejad - 5 GP, 2-4-6 - Zibanejad has registered six points (two goals, four assists) in his last three games against the Kings, and he recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in two games against Los Angeles in 2015-16.
  • Michael Grabner - 9 GP, 3-4-7 - Grabner established single-game NHL career-highs with four points (two goals, two assists) and a plus-four rating on Dec. 19, 2015 against Los Angeles.

BACK-TO-BACK
In their last 90 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2010-11 season), the Rangers have posted a 60-24-6 record in the second game of the set. New York has posted a 7-1-0 record in the second game of a back-to-back set in 2016-17.
 
GOALS GALORE
New York ranks second in the NHL in goals per game this season (3.45). The Rangers have recorded 49 goals over the last 12 games, registering at least four goals in nine of the 12 contests. The Blueshirts have also tallied five or more goals in six of the last 10 games.
 
WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 30 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the fourth-most the team has earned through the first 47 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 30 wins through the first 47 games of a season six times in franchise history, and the only seasons in which the Rangers earned more than 30 wins through the first 47 contests were 1993-94 (32), 1971-72 (31), and 2011-12 (31).
 
HOME COOKING
In their last 100 games at Madison Square Garden (since Nov. 1, 2014), the Rangers have posted a 62-28-10 record (.670 points percentage).
 
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
The Rangers have posted a 14-5-0 record in games against the Western Conference this season, including a 7-1-0 record against teams in the Pacific Division.
 
THREE'S COMPANY
The Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello line has tallied 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) over the last 12 games, and each player has recorded 13 or more points over the span. In addition, the three players have registered 65 points - including 23 goals - in the Rangers' 23 games since Dec. 1, and each player has tallied at least 21 points over the span.
  
AV SQUAD
Alain Vigneault will coach his 1,100th career game as a National Hockey League head coach in tomorrow's contest. Vigneault will become the seventh active NHL head coach to reach the milestone (Quenneville, Ruff, Hitchcock, Trotz, Maurice, and Sutter), as well as the 18th head coach in league history to accomplish the feat. He enters the contest with 596 career wins as a head coach in the league, and he leads NHL head coaches in wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (487). 
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 20th win of the 2016-17 season today at Detroit. Lundqvist is the first goaltender in NHL history who has registered at least 20 wins in each of his first 12 seasons in the league. Lundqvist is the 10th goaltender in NHL history who has earned at least 20 wins in 12 or more seasons, joining Roy (17), Brodeur (16), Belfour (15), Esposito (13), Osgood (13), Fuhr (12), Joseph (12), Luongo (12), and Vachon (12) as the only goaltenders to accomplish the feat. Lundqvist's 12 consecutive 20-win seasons are tied for the most in NHL history (Brodeur and Esposito). In addition, Lundqvist is one of three goaltenders who have earned 20 or more wins in at least 12 seasons with one franchise (Brodeur - New Jersey; Esposito - Chicago). Lundqvist has started both ends of a back-to-back set 77 times in his NHL career during the regular season, and he has posted a 49-21-7 record, along with a 2.05 GAA, a .929 SV%, and 8 SO in the second game of those back-to-back sets.
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello has registered 17 assists/points over the last 14 games (since Dec. 18), and he leads the NHL in assists over the span. He ranks second in the NHL in even strength assists this season (24), only trailing Connor McDavid (25). Zuccarello leads the Rangers in assists (29), points (37), even strength assists, and even strength points (30) this season. He enters the contest with a five-game assist/point streak (seven assists over the span), and he has recorded 22 points (one goal, 21 assists) in the last 22 games.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has tallied the game-winning goal in each of the last two games, including the game-winning goal in overtime today at Detroit. He has recorded a point in nine of the last 10 games (seven goals, five assists), including a goal in four of the last five contests (four goals).
 
PAVEL'S PARTY
Pavel Buchnevich has tallied a point in eight of his last nine NHL games (six goals, six assists). He has notched a point in 10 of his 15 career NHL games (six goals, eight assists).
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (20), is tied for sixth in goals (21), and is tied for seventh in plus/minus rating (plus-23) this season. Thus far this season, 28 of Grabner's 29 points have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal. He has recorded nine points (seven goals, two assists) and a plus-nine rating over the last seven games.
  
STEP-AN UP
Derek Stepan has recorded 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in the last 29 games, including 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in the last 23 contests and 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the last 14 games.
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider is tied for second in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1 (14). He has tallied 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in the last 12 contests.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh was selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. He is tied for first among NHL defensemen in primary assists (16), is tied for third in even strength assists (17), ranks fifth in assists (26), and is tied for 12th in points (28) in 2016-17.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
The Rangers are one of six teams that have a 21.0% power play efficiency and an 82.0% penalty kill efficiency or better this season.
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 0-for-4 (7:19) today at Detroit.
New York has tallied a PPG in six of the last 11 games (10-for-39; 25.6%).
The Blueshirts rank 10th in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (21.5%; 31-for-144).
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 3-for-3 (5:35) today at Detroit.
New York ranks second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (seven).
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES
Ryan McDonagh - 2 points away from 200 in his NHL career
Mika Zibanejad - 3 assists away from 100 in his NHL career
Alain Vigneault - 4 wins away from 600 as an NHL head coach; 1 game away from 1,100 as an NHL head coach
Brandon Pirri - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career
 
INJURIES (122 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
Marc Staal (upper-body injury) - has missed seven games
Antti Raanta (lower-body injury) - has missed three games
Jesper Fast (upper-body injury) - has missed two games
Kevin Hayes (lower-body injury)
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Jan. 23, 1927 - The Rangers earned their first win against the New York Americans in franchise history, as the Blueshirts registered a 2-0 win at MSG.
  • Jan. 23, 1993 - Mike Gartner became the first player in NHL history to register 30 or more goals in 14 consecutive seasons as the Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 8-3, in Los Angeles.
  • Jan. 23, 2004 - The Rangers acquired Jaromir Jagr in a trade with the Washington Capitals.
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