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Rangers vs. Senators 11.27.16: Pregame Notes

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

NEW YORK RANGERS vs. OTTAWA SENATORS
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
 
Rangers: 15-6-1 (31 pts)
Senators: 13-7-1 (27 pts)

TONIGHT'S GAME
The Rangers play their 23rd game of the 2016-17 season tonight against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 1050 AM). All of the Blueshirts' next five games (including tomorrow's game) are against Eastern Conference opponents, and three of the five games are against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Rangers have won 14 of their last 20 games (14-5-1), including 13 of their last 18 games (13-4-1) and 10 of their last 14 games (10-3-1). The Blueshirts have posted a 15-6-1 record this season.
 
RANGERS VS. SENATORS

  • All-Time: 39-40-3-4 (16-24-0-2 at home; 23-16-3-2 on the road)
  • 2016-17: Tomorrow's game is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Senators, and the first of two meetings between the two teams at MSG. Following tomorrow's contest, the Rangers and Senators will play against each other on the following dates: Dec. 27 (at MSG), Apr. 8 (at Ottawa).
  • 2015-16: The Rangers posted a 2-1-0 record (1-0-0 at home; 1-1-0 on the road). The Rangers allowed one goal in two of the three contests and five goals over the three games in the season series. Ryan McDonagh led all skaters with three points (one goal, two assists) in three games and tied for first among all players with two assists in the season series. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 2-1-0 record, along with a 1.30 GAA and a .949 SV% (75 saves on 79 shots) in the season series.
  • The Rangers have won six of their last nine games against the Senators, dating back to Jan. 18, 2014 (6-3-0). 

RANGERS-SENATORS CONNECTIONS

  • Alain Vigneault's first coaching staff position in the NHL was as an Assistant Coach with the Senators. Vigneault joined the Senators for their first NHL season in 1992-93 and was a member of Ottawa's coaching staff for parts of four seasons (1992-93 - 1995-96).
  • Mika Zibanejad played parts of five seasons with the Senators (2011-12 - 2015-16).
  • Derick Brassard played parts of four seasons with the Rangers (2012-13 - 2015-16).
  • Matt Puempel played parts of three seasons with Ottawa (2014-15 - 2016-17).
  • Tom Pyatt was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Derick Brassard, Rick Nash, and Marc Methot were all teammates with the Blue Jackets for parts of five seasons (2007-08 - 2011-12). All three players were coached by Rangers Associate Coach Scott Arniel, who was the Blue Jackets Head Coach for parts of two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12).
  • Ryan McDonagh and Kyle Turris were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for one season (2007-08).
  • Dan Girardi and Marc Methot were teammates with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for part of one season (2004-05) and helped London win the Memorial Cup.
  • 90TH SEASON NOTE - Henrik Lundqvist became the Rangers' all-time leader in wins by earning his 302nd career win with the franchise on Mar. 18, 2014 at Ottawa.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER STATISTICS VS. SENATORS

  • Henrik Lundqvist - 36 GP, 15-17-3, 2.08 GAA, .931 SV%, 1 SO - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last five appearances against Ottawa, posting a 3-2-0 record, along with a 1.57 GAA and a .943 SV% over the span.
  • Derek Stepan - 19 GP, 5-10-15 - Stepan has tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last eight games against the Senators.
  • Rick Nash - 17 GP, 9-2-11 - Nash has notched eight points (six goals, two assists) in his last 11 contests against Ottawa.
  • Mats Zuccarello - 10 GP, 5-3-8 - Zuccarello has posted three multi-point games in his last seven contests against the Senators.

WINNING WAYS 
This season, the Rangers have earned at least 15 wins in their first 22 games of a season for the sixth time in franchise history. The Blueshirts' 15 wins are tied for the second-most they have earned through 22 games of one season in franchise history. New York is tied for the NHL lead in wins this season (15 - tied with Montreal).
 
GOALS GALORE
The Rangers have registered 85 goals through the first 22 games of the 2016-17 season. New York has recorded at least 85 goals in the first 22 contests of a season for the first time since 1992-93. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals per game this season (3.86).
 
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
The Rangers lead the NHL in goal differential this season (plus-30; 85 goals for, 55 goals against). The Blueshirts have posted a plus-30 goal differential or better through the first 22 games of a season for the seventh time in franchise history. The Rangers are the first NHL team that has posted a plus-30 goal differential or better through the first 22 games of one season since San Jose in 2008-09.
 
HOME COOKING
New York has posted an 8-3-1 record at home this season and has outscored its opponents, 48-32, in the 12 contests. The Rangers lead the NHL in goals for (48) and goals per game (4.00) at home in 2016-17. The Blueshirts have earned at least one point in 70 of their last 92 home games, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014 (60-22-10 record). 
 
TWO GOOD
The Rangers have allowed two goals or fewer in regulation/overtime in 14 of their last 19 games, dating back to Oct. 19 vs. Detroit.
 
FINISHING THE JOB
The Blueshirts have posted a 13-0-0 record in games which they have held a lead entering the third period this season. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, the Rangers have posted a 180-3-8 record in 191 regular season games in which they have held a lead entering the third period.
 
ON POINT
Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei have tallied 11 or more assists through the first 22 games of the season. Two Rangers defensemen have recorded 11 or more assists within the first 22 games of a season for the first time since 1994-95 (Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov). In addition, three Rangers defensemen (McDonagh, Skjei, and Nick Holden) have recorded nine or more assists within the first 22 games of a season for the first time since 1991-92 (Leetch, James Patrick, and Per Djoos).
 
KING HENRIK
Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves in the Rangers' win on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia. In his last 13 starts, Lundqvist has posted a 9-3-1 record, along with a 2.22 GAA, a .926 SV%, and 1 SO. He is one of 10 goaltenders in NHL history who have earned at least 350 career wins and 60 career shutouts. In addition, he is one of five goaltenders in NHL history who have appeared in at least 700 games with one franchise (Brodeur - NJD; Esposito - CHI; Sawchuk - DET; Kolzig - WSH). Lundqvist enters the contest with 384 career NHL wins, and he is one win away from tying Mike Vernon for 13th place on the NHL's all-time wins list.
 
UP FOR GRABS
Michael Grabner leads the NHL in even strength goals (12) and plus/minus rating (plus-20), and he is tied for second in the NHL in goals (12) in 2016-17. Grabner has registered 13 points (10 goals, three assists) and a plus-18 rating in the last 14 games. He is the first NHL player who has posted a plus-20 rating or better through the first 22 games of a season since Nicklas Lidstrom in 2006-07.
 
CAPTAIN MAC
Ryan McDonagh ranks second among NHL defensemen in primary assists (nine) and even strength assists (10), and ranks third among NHL defensemen in assists (13) this season. He has led the team in ice time in 21 of the Rangers' first 22 games this season.
 
RAISE THE ANTTI
Antti Raanta has earned a win in each of his first five decisions to start this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Raanta is the first Rangers goaltender who has earned a win in each of his first five decisions to start a season since Steve Weeks in 1983-84.
 
IT'S MILLER TIME
J.T. Miller has recorded a point in 14 of the Rangers' 15 wins in 2016-17, and the Blueshirts have posted a 14-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a point this season. He has registered 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in the last 18 games, and he is tied for the team lead in points (19), even strength assists (10), and even strength points (16) this season.
 
HEY HEY HAYES
Kevin Hayes tallied his 100th career NHL point on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia. He is the only NHL player who has registered at least 19 points and a plus-16 rating this season. Of Hayes' first 100 career NHL points, 85 were primary points.
 
SKJEI HEY KID
Brady Skjei is tied for first among NHL rookies in assists this season (11). In addition, Skjei is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in assists in 2016-17.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
The Blueshirts are the only team that ranks seventh or better in the NHL in both power play efficiency and penalty kill efficiency in 2016-17. New York has outscored its opponent on special teams in 10 of 22 games this season.
 
Power Play:
The Rangers were 0-for-2 (4:00) on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia.
The Blueshirts rank sixth in the NHL in power play efficiency this season (21.5%; 14-for-65).
New York has recorded a power play goal in 11 of 22 games in 2016-17.
 
Penalty Kill:
The Rangers were not shorthanded on Nov. 25 at Philadelphia.
The Blueshirts rank seventh in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (86.2%; 50-for-58).
The Rangers have not allowed a power play goal against in nine of the last 11 games. The Blueshirts have killed off 27 of their opponents' last 29 power play opportunities (over a 12-game stretch), dating back to Nov. 3 (93.1%).
New York is tied for the NHL lead - and leads the Eastern Conference - in shorthanded goals this season (three).
 
UPCOMING MILESTONES
J.T. Miller - 5 points away from 100 in his NHL career/as a Ranger
 
INJURIES (43 Man-Games Lost to Injury)
Pavel Buchnevich (back) - has missed seven games
Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula) - has missed three games
 
RECENT TRANSACTIONS
Nov. 21 - Claimed Matt Puempel off waivers
 
THIS DAY IN RANGERS HISTORY

  • Nov. 26, 1967 - Gilles Villemure earned his first career NHL shutout, making 35 saves as the Rangers defeated the St. Louis Blues, 1-0.
  • Nov. 26, 2005 - The Rangers and Capitals participated in a 15-round shootout (the longest in NHL history at the time), which ended with Marek Malik's between-the-legs goal to give the Rangers a 3-2 win at MSG.
  • Nov. 27, 1926 - In the first game between the Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, the Blueshirts earned a 2-0 win in Montreal.
  • Nov. 27, 1960 - Rod Gilbert made his NHL debut and tallied his first career NHL assist/point as the Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks played to a 3-3 tie at MSG.
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