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Rangers vs. Maple Leafs 1.13.17: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 28-13-1 (57 pts)
Maple Leafs: 18-13-8 (44 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 43rd game of the 2016-17 season and begin a back-to-back set tonight, Jan. 13, against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). New York has won 11 of its last 15 games (11-4-0), including eight of its last 11 games (8-3-0) and five of its last six games (5-1-0). The Rangers have posted a 28-13-1 record this season.
 
RANGERS VS. MAPLE LEAFS

  • All-Time*: 228-275-95-7 (132-112-56-4 at home; 96-163-39-3 on the road) Note: The first three games between the two franchises were when the Maple Leafs franchise was called the Toronto St. Patricks. The team changed its name during the 1926-27 season.
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the only meeting between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Maple Leafs will play against each other on the following dates: Jan. 19 (at Toronto), Feb. 23 (at Toronto).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 3-0-0 record (2-0-0 at home; 1-0-0 on the road). New York registered three or more goals in all three contests, outscoring Toronto, 11-6, in the season series. Mats Zuccarello posted a three-point game in each of the three contests during the season series, registering nine points (five goals, four assists) and a plus-eight rating.
  • The Rangers have won each of their last four games against the Maple Leafs, dating back to Feb. 10, 2015.
  • The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 11 of their last 14 games against Toronto, dating back to Jan. 14, 2012 (10-3-1).
  • New York has earned at least one point in six of its last seven home contests against the Maple Leafs, dating back to Jan. 26, 2013 (5-1-1). 

RANGERS-MAPLE LEAFS CONNECTIONS

  • Michael Grabner played one season with the Maple Leafs (2015-16).
  • Matt Hunwick played one season with the Rangers (2014-15).
  • Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan played two seasons with the Rangers (2006-07 and 2007-08).
  • The Rangers have six Ontario-born players on their roster (Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein, Rick Nash, Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel, and Marc Staal). Pirri is a Toronto, Ontario, native.
  • Jimmy Vesey's father, Jim, is an Amateur Scout with Toronto.
  • William Nylander is the son of former Ranger Michael Nylander, who played two seasons with the Blueshirts (2005-06 and 2006-07).
  • Michael Grabner and Matt Martin were teammates with the Islanders for five seasons (2010-11 - 2014-15).
  • Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Jake Gardiner helped the United States earn a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Jake Gardiner were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10).
  • Brady Skjei and Auston Matthews represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Brandon Pirri and Frederik Andersen were teammates with Anaheim for part of one season (2015-16).
  • 90TH SEASON NOTE - Ninety years ago tomorrow (Jan. 13, 1927), the Rangers played their first home game against the Maple Leafs franchise. The Blueshirts tied the Toronto St. Patricks, 1-1, at MSG. Clarence "Taffy" Abel tallied the only goal for the Rangers in the contest.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. MAPLE LEAFS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 26 GP, 13-8-5, 2.77 GAA, .902 SV%, 2 SO - Lundqvist has earned at least one point in 12 of 18 career appearances against Toronto at MSG (9-6-3 record).
  • Antti Raanta - 4 GP, 3-1-0, 2.73 GAA, .916 SV%, 1 SO - Raanta has earned a win in each of his last three starts against the Maple Leafs (1.67 GAA, .947 SV%, 1 SO over the span).
  • Mats Zuccarello - 10 GP, 9-5-14 - Zuccarello enters the contest with a five-game goal/point streak against the Maple Leafs, and he has posted a multi-point game in each of the five contests (eight goals, five assists over the span).
  • Brandon Pirri - 5 GP, 6-3-9 - Pirri has registered a goal/point in each of his five career games against Toronto, and he has registered a multi-point game in three of the five contests.
  • Rick Nash - 19 GP, 6-12-18 - Nash has notched eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last five games against Toronto, including six assists/points in his last three games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Derek Stepan - 19 GP, 4-11-15 - Stepan has recorded 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 14 games against Toronto.
  • Michael Grabner - 15 GP, 7-5-12 - Grabner has tallied eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last seven games against the Maple Leafs.

WINNING WAYS
The Rangers' 28 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the second-most wins the team has earned through the first 42 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 28 wins in their first 42 games of a season four times in franchise history (1970-71, 1971-72, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only season in which the Rangers earned more than 28 wins through the first 42 games was 1970-71 (29). The Rangers are tied for the NHL lead in wins in 2016-17 (tied with Columbus) and are the only NHL team that has earned at least 13 wins both at home and on the road this season.
  
STARS ON BROADWAY
In four of the last five weeks, a Ranger has been selected as one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week (Antti Raanta - week ending on Dec. 11; Henrik Lundqvist - week ending on Dec. 18; Chris Kreider - week ending on Jan. 1; Michael Grabner - week ending on Jan. 8).
 
HATS OFF
A Ranger has tallied a hat trick in three of the last five games and in four contests this season. The Blueshirts have recorded four hat tricks in a season for the first time since 2010-11 (five), and the Rangers are the only NHL team that has had four hat tricks this season.
 
THREE'S COMPANY
The Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello line has tallied 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) over the last seven games. The three players have registered 49 points - including 18 goals - in the Rangers' 18 games since Dec. 1.
 
The Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller line has tallied 13 points (seven goals, six assists) over the last two contests, and each player has notched at least three points over the span.
 
TEAM EFFORT
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has nine players who have recorded 20 or more points this season. In addition, the Blueshirts are one of three NHL teams that have six players who have tallied at least 10 goals in 2016-17.
 
GOALS GALORE
New York leads the NHL in goals (146 - includes two team goals awarded for shootout wins) and ranks second in the NHL in goals per game (3.43) this season. The Rangers have recorded 31 goals over the last seven games, registering at least four goals in six of the seven contests. The Blueshirts have also tallied five or more goals in four of the last five games.
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation in 26 of 42 games this season and have posted a 22-3-1 record in those 26 contests.
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 390th career NHL win on Dec. 31 at Colorado, passing Dominik Hasek to become the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history. With the win, Lundqvist also passed Hasek for sole possession of 12th place on the NHL's all-time wins list.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner was selected as the NHL's First Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 8, as he registered seven points (five goals, two assists) and a plus-seven rating in three games during the week. He has recorded two hat tricks this season, becoming the first Ranger to tally at least two hat tricks in one season since Marian Gaborik in 2010-11. Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (19), is tied for fourth in plus/minus rating (plus-22), and is tied for eighth in goals (19) this season. In addition, 26 of Grabner's 27 points in 2016-17 have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal.
 
Over the last two games, Grabner has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) and a plus-eight rating, and he tallied the game-winning goal in each contest. In addition, he registered a plus-four rating in each of the two contests. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Ranger who posted a plus-four rating or better in two consecutive team games was Pat Hickey (Nov. 15 - Nov. 18, 1978).
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh was selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. McDonagh, who also played in the NHL All-Star Game last season, is the first Ranger who has been selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game in at least two consecutive years since Henrik Lundqvist (2009 - 2012). He ranks third among NHL defensemen in even strength assists (15), is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in primary assists (13), is tied for sixth among NHL defensemen in assists (23), and is tied for ninth among NHL defensemen in points (25) in 2016-17. 
 
STEP-AN UP
Derek Stepan is tied for the team lead in points this season (31; nine goals, 22 assists). He has recorded 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in the last 24 games, including 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in the last 18 contests and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last nine games.
 
WELCOME MATS
Mats Zuccarello has tallied 10 assists/points in the last nine games and 15 points (one goal, 14 assists) in the last 17 games. Since Dec. 1, Zuccarello is tied for second in the NHL in even strength assists (11) and is tied for sixth in the NHL in assists (14).
 
KREID-ING HIGH
Chris Kreider is tied for second in the NHL in goals since Dec. 1 (12). Kreider has recorded nine points (seven goals, two assists) in the last seven games.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller enters the contest with a five-game point streak, which is a career-high (three goals, five assists), as well as a three-game assist streak, which is tied for his career-high. He has posted three multi-point games in the last five contests, and he is tied for the team lead in games with a point this season (22).
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
The Rangers are the only NHL team that has a 23.0% power play efficiency and an 83.0% penalty kill efficiency or better in 2016-17.
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 1-for-2 (3:09) on Jan. 7 at Columbus.
New York has tallied a PPG in four of the last six games (8-for-20; 40.0%) and has recorded seven PPG over the last five games (7-for-16; 43.8%).
The Blueshirts are tied for third in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (23.2%; 29-for-125).
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were 2-for-3 (4:10) on Jan. 7 at Columbus.
The Blueshirts rank ninth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (83.1%; 98-for-118).
New York is tied for second in the NHL in SHG in 2016-17 (five).
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES

  • Oscar Lindberg - 4 games away from 100 in his NHL career
  • Ryan McDonagh - 5 points away from 200 in his NHL career
  • Alain Vigneault - 6 wins away from 600 in his career as an NHL head coach; 6 games away from 1,100 in his career as an NHL head coach

INJURIES (106 Man-Games Lost to Injury)

  • Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula) - has missed 23 games
  • Matt Puempel (concussion symptoms) - has missed three games
  • Marc Staal (upper-body injury) - has missed two games 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • Jan. 12 - Recalled Pavel Buchnevich from Hartford (AHL)
  • Jan. 7 - Assigned Nicklas Jensen to Hartford (AHL) 

THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Jan. 12, 2006 - Mark Messier became the fourth Ranger in franchise history to have his number retired by the organization.
  • Jan. 13, 1927 - The Rangers played faced the Maple Leafs' franchise for the first time at MSG and tied the Toronto St. Patricks, 1-1. Clarence "Taffy" Abel tallied the only goal for the Rangers in the contest.
  • Jan. 13, 1929 - John Ross Roach stopped all 50 shots he faced as the Rangers defeated the Detroit Cougars, 1-0, at MSG.
  • Jan. 13, 1940 - With a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto, the Rangers extended their winning streak to 10 games, their point streak to 19 games, and their road point streak to 11 games, which are all franchise records. Rangers goaltender Dave Kerr also extended his unbeaten streak to 19 games, which was a franchise record until Mike Richter posted a 20-game unbeaten streak during the 1993-94 season.
  • Jan. 13, 1997 - The Rangers wore their "Statue of Liberty" jerseys in a game for the first time as they faced off against the New York Islanders at MSG.
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