NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Rangers: 5-3-0 (10 pts)
Lightning: 5-3-0 (10 pts)
The Rangers play their ninth game of the 2016-17 season and begin a three-game homestand tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). Including tonight's game, the Rangers will play five of their next six games at MSG. The Blueshirts have won three of their last four games (3-1-0 record) and have posted a 5-3-0 record this season.
RANGERS VS. LIGHTNING
- All-Time: 45-35-5-7 (25-16-2-4 at home; 20-19-3-3 on the road)
- 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Lightning, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Lightning will play against each other on the following dates: Mar. 6 (at Tampa Bay), Mar. 13 (at MSG).
- 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). New York allowed two goals in each of the three games and outscored Tampa Bay, 9-6, in the season series. Derek Stepan tied for first among all skaters with two goals and three points in three games, while Mats Zuccarello tied for first among all skaters with two assists and three points. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-1-0 record, along with a 2.01 GAA and a .934 SV% in three appearances.
- The Rangers have earned at least one point in 15 of their last 20 home games against Tampa Bay, dating back to the start of the 2005-06 season (12-5-3 record over the span).
- The Blueshirts have registered at least three goals in four of their last five games against the Lightning (15 goals over the span).
- Alain Vigneault and Lightning Associate Coach Rick Bowness were members of the same coaching staff in Ottawa and Vancouver. Vigneault was an Assistant Coach on Bowness' staff with the Senators for parts of four seasons (1992-93 - 1995-96), and Bowness was an Assistant Coach on Vigneault's staff for seven seasons with the Canucks (2006-07 - 2012-13).
- The Lightning have three former Rangers on their roster: Brian Boyle (2009-10 - 2013-14), Ryan Callahan (2006-07 - 2013-14), and Anton Stralman (2011-12 - 2013-14).
- Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Tyler Johnson helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. LIGHTNING
- Henrik Lundqvist - 38 GP, 19-13-6, 2.38 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has earned a win in each of his last two games against Tampa Bay, posting a 2.00 GAA and a .937 SV% (59 saves on 63 shots) in the two contests.
- Derek Stepan - 20 GP, 8-10-18 - Stepan has notched at least one point in seven of 10 career games against the Lightning at MSG (five goals, five assists).
- Rick Nash - 22 GP, 9-8-17 - Since joining the Rangers prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, Nash has registered 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 12 games against the Lightning.
- Ryan McDonagh - 14 GP, 0-10-10 - McDonagh has tallied at least one point in seven of 14 games against Tampa Bay.
The Rangers have tallied 29 goals in their first eight games this season (3.63 goals per game). The Blueshirts are tied for the NHL lead in goals per game and are tied for fourth in the NHL in goal differential (plus-eight) in 2016-17.
The Blueshirts are the only NHL team that has three players who have recorded four goals this season (Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Vesey, and Mats Zuccarello).
The Rangers are one of two NHL teams that have at least nine players who have tallied five or more points this season.
New York has posted a 4-1-0 record at home this season and has outscored its opponents, 21-13, over the five games at MSG. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 65 of their last 85 home games, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014 (56-20-9 record). In addition, the Rangers have posted a 31-11-4 record at MSG since the start of last season. The Rangers are tied for the NHL lead in wins (31), and they lead the NHL in goals for (151) and goals per game (3.28) at home since the start of last season.
Over the last four games, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 12-3, in the second period and third period (8-3 in the second period, 4-0 in the third period). New York has recorded 23 of its 29 goals this season in either the second period or third period (12 goals in the second period and 11 goals in the third period), and the Blueshirts have posted a plus-seven goal differential in the second period this season (12-5).
The Rangers have outshot their opponents, 249-202, through the first eight games this season (31.1 shots on goal per game; 25.3 shots on goal against per game). The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in shots on goal against per game and rank eighth in the NHL in shots on goal per game this season. New York has recorded at least 30 shots on goal in five of eight games this season and has held opponents to fewer than 30 shots on goal in seven of the first eight contests.
The Blueshirts have won 30 of the last 31 games in which they allowed two goals or fewer, dating back to Dec. 15, 2015 (30-1-0). The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in four of the last five games.
Alain Vigneault leads all NHL head coaches in regular season wins since the start of the 2006-07 season (462). With his next win, Vigneault, who has earned 149 career wins as the Rangers' head coach, would become the sixth head coach in franchise history to earn 150 wins with the Rangers (along with Emile Francis, Lester Patrick, Frank Boucher, John Tortorella, and Tom Renney).
Ryan McDonagh enters the contest with a six-game assist/point streak (seven assists over the span). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McDonagh is the first Rangers defenseman to register a six-game assist streak since Brian Leetch (Dec. 15 - Dec. 28, 2001). McDonagh's six-game assist streak is a career-high, while his six-game point streak is tied for his career-high. McDonagh is tied for second in the NHL in assists this season (seven), and he is one of two NHL defensemen who have recorded seven assists in 2016-17 (along with Duncan Keith). In addition, McDonagh is one of three NHL defensemen who have tallied at least one point in six different games this season (along with Shea Weber and Ryan Suter).
Mats Zuccarello tallied both of the Rangers' goals on Oct. 28 at Carolina, and he is tied for the team lead with four goals this season. Zuccarello has recorded six points (three goals, three assists) and has posted a plus-four rating in the last six games.
VESEY DOES IT
Jimmy Vesey leads NHL rookies in game-winning goals (two) and is tied for third among NHL rookies in goals (four) this season. Vesey is one of four NHL rookies who have recorded four or more goals in 2016-17 (along with Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and William Nylander).
Mika Zibanejad has tallied a point in six of the first eight games this season, and he leads the Rangers in points in 2016-17 (eight).
Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two goals in four of his last five appearances, posting a 3-2-0 record, along with a 2.22 GAA and a .912 SV% in those games.
Brandon Pirri is tied for third in the NHL in shooting percentage this season (40.0%; four goals on 10 shots on goal). Pirri is tied for the team lead in goals (four) and game-winning goals (two) in 2016-17.
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has recorded a point in each of the Rangers' five wins in 2016-17, and the Rangers have posted a 5-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a point this season. He has registered four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games.
Derek Stepan enters the contest with 199 career NHL assists. He has tallied five assists/points in the last six games.
Since the start of the 2014-15 season, the Rangers have posted a 36-2-3 record in games which they have outscored their opponent on special teams. The Rangers have outscored their opponent on special teams in three of the last four games and in four of eight games this season.
- The Rangers were 1-for-2 (3:03) on Oct. 28 at Carolina.
- The Blueshirts rank sixth in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (25.9%; 7-for-27).
- New York has recorded a power play goal in each of the last four games (5-for-13; 38.5%) and in six of eight games in 2016-17.
- The Rangers have tallied at least one power play goal in six of the first eight games of one season for the first time since 2009-10.
- The Rangers were 0-for-1 (1:33) on Oct. 28 at Carolina.
- The Blueshirts have posted a 21-2-2 record in the last 25 games in which they did not allow a power play goal, dating back to Dec. 22, 2015.
- New York has only been shorthanded 21 times through the first eight games this season. In addition, the Rangers have only been shorthanded three times over the last three games, and only once in each of the three contests.
- Derek Stepan - 1 assist away from 200 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
- Ryan McDonagh - 2 games away from 400 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
- Rick Nash - 4 goals away from 400 in his NHL career
INJURIES (20 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
- Josh Jooris (separated shoulder) - 3-4 weeks
- Chris Kreider (neck spasms) - day-to-day
- Oct. 28 - Assigned Dylan McIlrath to Hartford (AHL)
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY
- Oct. 29, 1972 - Jean Ratelle registered four points (two goals, two assists) and Rod Gilbert recorded four assists as the Rangers defeated the Chicago Black Hawks, 7-1, at MSG.
- Oct. 29, 1990 - John Vanbiesbrouck recorded a shutout as the Rangers defeated the Quebec Nordiques, 5-0, at MSG.
- Oct. 29, 2001 - Theo Fleury registered his 1,000th career NHL point and Mark Messier tied Paul Coffey for fourth on the NHL's all-time assists list as the Rangers defeated the Dallas Stars, 4-2, at MSG.
- Oct. 30, 1964 - Emile Francis was named General Manager of the Rangers.
- Oct. 30, 1965 - Ed Giacomin earned his first career NHL win as the Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins, 8-2.
- Oct. 30, 1988 - The Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins combined for 292 penalty minutes as the Blueshirts earned a 9-2 win at MSG. The 292 combined penalty minutes, as well as the Rangers' 134 penalty minutes, are single-game franchise records. Tony Granato (four goals), Brian Leetch (two goals, two assists), and Kelly Kisio (one goal, three assists) each tallied four points in the contest.
- Oct. 30, 1996 - Mike Richter made 53 saves while appearing in his 300th career NHL game and Brian Leetch registered three points (two goals, one assist) as the Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 6-1.
- Oct. 30, 2015 - Mats Zuccarello tallied his first career NHL hat trick as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1, at MSG.